I wonder how many NBC stations sent their weekend news teams home when it became apparent that the Saturday newscast would not hit the air until after 1am or 2am Eastern time?
I watched the Ft. Myer’s NBC affiliate for the Pepsi 400 last night. A 2 hour rain delay meant the race didn’t start until 10pm eastern time. They didn’t wave the checkered flag until around 1:30am.
I understand that the NBC station in Huntsville, WAFF simply cancelled their late news. Probably a good move since they’d likely have to offer make-goods on all of the advertisements they sold for the night anyway. How many other stations made that call? When did they make the call?
On the one-hand the producers and anchors and reporters have already done the work putting a show together. They write the scripts, edit the segments and then wait and wait and wait.
Working for CBS for many years golf and football could send your newscast to never-never land. On Sunday afternoons many of the newscasts that are produced never make air, or at least a majority isn’t televised. ABC stations deal with Monday Night Football (they won’t this year since MNF moves to ESPN). Beginning this fall NBC stations will deal with Sunday Night Football. CBS stations also deal with March Madness. Those Thursday and Friday nights of the first two weeks of the basketball tournament often means the late news doesn’t hit the airwaves until after midnight.
How do stations deal with those late newscasts?
One station I worked for back in the early 90s would cut the news teams a bit of a break during the college basketball tournament. They’d give one of the anchors a night off. One anchor would solo the Thursday and Friday newscasts the first week and the other anchor would get the night off the next week. That was great for morale.
Another CBS station where I anchored had a “not past 12:30” rule. If the games went so late that the late news wouldn’t hit the air until after 12:30, they’d go to regular programming and cancel the local newscast.
So what happens these days? I don’t know. I didn’t stay up to see what the Ft. Myers station did. WAFF cancelled. I don’t know what WMC did. I’m interested to find out though.