Houston’s KIAH Debuts Anchor-less ‘NewsFix’

By Andrew Gauthier 

KIAH‘s long-awaited, anchor-less newscast debuted this weekend, promising a fresh, new approach to the local newscast (15-minute introduction above).

“NewsFix,” the brainchild of former Tribune executive Lee Abrams, replaces the organizational presence of anchors in a studio with a newsreel-style narrator and a large map of the world studded with icons reminiscent of iPhone apps that correspond to the day’s top stories.

Many in the TV news community feared that the stripped-down “NewsFix” signaled a shift in the business away from the conventional newscast format. The first broadcasts of “NewsFix,” though, don’t represent a threat to the conventional format as much as a reminder of how much the media landscape has shifted in the past few years. “NewsFix” is less a rejoinder to the staid traditions of the local newscast and more a symbol that viewers are consuming more, and more varied, forms of content throughout their day.

With its graphical organization of news stories, which calls to mind something that would appear on a web browser instead of a TV, and its mix of breathless narration and wonky sound effects, which reminds one of the syndicated tabloid show “TMZ,” KIAH’s “NewsFix” appears to be just one more media option for Houston viewers as they tap through their smartphones and flip through the TV dial. Here’s a few “NewsFix” stories that aired this weekend…

Here’s a story on public urination:

Here’s police officer-cum-crime reporter Victor Trevino in his “NewsFix” debut:

Here’s a story on graffiti in the Houston area: