March 17, 2010

Portland getting more local TV news

By Ray Routhier
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — TV station WGME (Channel 13) is planning to offer more local news soon, by expanding its partnership with another local TV station, WPFO (Channel 23).

WGME, a CBS affiliate, currently produces a 10 p.m. newscast that is aired on WPFO, a Fox affiliate. Starting April 5, the WGME-produced 10 p.m. newscast will expand from 35 minutes to an hour. Also beginning April 5, from 7-9 a.m., WPFO will begin airing a morning news/lifestyle show called “Good Day Maine,” produced by WGME and hosted by its news staff.

The show will will feature WGME’s Erin Ovalle, Doug Ray, and Sara Long on weather.

WGME’s general manager, Tom Humpage, said today the new morning show will include “breaking news, up-to-the-minute weather updates, real time traffic reports and school closings.” Humpage said the morning show provides a place for major local events happening in the morning to get coverage.

“If there’s a traffic problem, or weather, or a major breaking news story, we’ll have a way to get it to people,” said Humpage. “Right now all we have are the cut-ins during our network shows, and those aren’t very long.”

Tom MacArthur, general manager of WPFO, said he thinks the show will fill a niche for local morning news content, since Portland’s other local news stations all air their network’s national news shows during that time period.

“Just like with the 10 p.m. news, we’ll be showing local news when all the other stations have their national shows,” said MacArthur.

WGME and WPFO have been partnering on the 10 p.m. show for three years, MacArthur said.

Earlier this week WGME and MaineTodayMedia announced an agreement to share news and weather content. MaineTodayMedia publishes the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Kennebec Journal and Waterville Sentinel daily newspapers, the
weekly Coastal Journal in Bath and their respective Web sites.

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