Nexstar Gives WHBF a Makeover

By Kevin Eck 

Viewers of Nexstar’s WHBF may have noticed the CBS affiliate’s new look on Wednesday.

WHBF debuted its new set, new anchors and new graphics package and new brand identity starting with last night’s 6:00 p.m. news.

Nexstar announced it was buying WHBF from Citadel Communications along with WOI in Des Moines and KCAU in Sioux City in September 2013.

“When Nexstar acquired us, they made a commitment right then and there that they want to be a player in news. They recognize that in order to do that, there has to be some expectations,” general manager Marshall Porter said. “From the get-go, they were ready to make the investment.”

That investment, he said, was “well over” $1 million. Included are a set with numerous high-definition monitors, expanded areas for weather and sports reports, and a stuffed red bench for interviews, in front of a mural with dozens of Quad-City landmarks pictured behind it.

The Quad-City Times reports WHBF had the market’s lowest rated news for more than 30 years.

Anchors Jim Niedelman and Tiffany Lundberg, both new to the market, were hired for the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. Chief meteorologist Andy McCray and sports director Jay Kidwell are the holdovers from the former “CBS4.” Chris Langlois, a reporter at WHBF, will become the new co-anchor of “Local 4 News This Morning” with Emily Scarlett, beginning today.

WHBF had switched to high-definition broadcasting in 2010, but the cameras were “upconverted” from standard-definition cameras, operations manager J.D. Walls said.

“Front to back now, we’re fully HD,” Walls said.

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