THE DAYTIME TV SCHEDULE IS CHANGING: TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, OR JUST TOO MUCH...
Some interesting announcements on the changing daytime television picture this week, meaning that some stations may have to make some difficult decisions real soon:
1) It was no great surprise to many that NBC finally made it public that they are expanding Today into a fourth hour to 11AM ET beginning in September. The two main hosts, Matt Lauer and Merideth Vieira, are not expected to be a part of the expansion, leaving those duties to Ann Curry and Al Roker, with possibly NBC News Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory participating.
Will the fourth hour of Today be seen in the Tampa Bay area? If so, most likely it would be on a tape-delay basis. Currently, NBC affiliate WFLA-TV 8 airs the locally produced Daytime in that time slot. BTW: Daytime is the most successful of several shows produced by WFLA/Media General's Tampa-based Riverbank Studios, and is now syndicated to six other stations across the southeast.
2) Over in Orlando, a bit of irony that the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz will soon no longer be seen live in it's home market...and soon maybe not at all.
The show, a cheap alternative to the "big three" news and feature-fests, is broadcast from the studios of WKCF-TV 18 in Lake Mary from 6-9 AM ET. But since Orlando's CW affiliate was acquired by Hearst-Argyle last year, that time slot was coveted to expand the local news coverage for sister station WESH-TV2. Now the deed is done, and Buzz has been relegated to tape delay from 9 AM - 12 N.
3) And for those of you who have noticed that Jerry Springer Show security chief Steve Wilkos has been doing occasional subistitute host duties when the boss is away. Apparantly, someone liked what they saw. It was announced today that Wilkos, the retired Chicago cop who for his first several years with Springer did so as a moonlighting job while still patrolling the tough Chi-town streets, will get his own show to be produced by NBC/Universal beginning this fall. The announcement said it would be a "companion" programme to both The Jerry Springer Show and Maury.