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Ch. 4's new 6:30 p.m. newscast is an early flop on WNLO-TV

WIVB-TV (Channel 4) opens its new 6:30 p.m. newscast on WNLO-TV (CW 23) by telling viewers it is from the station with "the most local news."

But off the abysmal ratings for the first two nights of "News 4 at 6:30," the question is: Can there be too much local news?

Monday's opener of the newscast on Martin Luther King Jr. Day co-anchored by Christy Kern and Dave Greber started with a 0.5 rating for the first 15 minutes and had a 0.2 for the final 15 minutes for an overall average of 0.4.

I was on an airplane headed home from California and missed the opener, which was heavily promoted, including during NFL games.

Just about all of Western New York missed Tuesday's second episode.

It had a 0.0 rating. Zero.

I know somebody was watching because I viewed the half hour newscast. It spent about one third of the non-advertising and promotional time on meteorologist Kaylee Wendt's weather segments.

The station may have misread the strength of the national newscasts carried by the local network affiliates at 6:30 p.m. They include "The CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor," a Tonawanda native.

The three national newscasts on first-place WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), second-place WIVB (Channel 4) and third-place WKBW-TV (Channel 7) had a combined 23.8 ratings points at 6:30 p.m. Monday and a combined 27.3 rating points at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

WIVB has hired people to work on the new newscast so management will likely give it time to grow an audience either at 6:30 p.m. or by moving it away from the national newscasts, possibly airing it at 7 p.m.

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