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Fox Injects Botox Into Sagging Face of Chicago News

By Shannon in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 8, 2007 5:39PM

You know what Chicago needs? More news programs. We just can’t get enough of morning news, along with news at 4, 4:30, 5, 5:30, 6, 9 and 10 p.m. And that’s just the networks. You cable and satellite-lovers must be in headline heaven!

To rectify this absolute dearth of news progs, Fox Chicago, WFLD-32, is throwing their hat into the ring. Starting April 9, “Fox Chicago News at Ten” will debut right after their “Fox Chicago News at Nine.” Yes, you read that correctly. Fox will follow their 9 o’clock news hour, with which they already compete against WGN, with 35 more minutes of pure, uncut news. Anchor David Navarro has been tapped from Fox’s morning show, and Lauren Cohn will return to Fox from an NBC affiliate in Philly. This is what we’re loving most:

"Given the success we've had in growing our 9 p.m. news, the timing is perfect for us to launch this program," said Pat Mullen, vice president and general manager of Channel 32. "There is a clear appetite in the market for a late, local news, and this is an arena in which we think Fox Chicago can add value."

i'm mad as hell and i'm not going to take it anymoreYou mean the average consumer’s thirst isn’t slaked by the three other half-hour local news shows at 10? We’ve got some news for ya: Top stories aren’t that likely to change in an hour, especially at night. The spillover show is even set to use the same sportscaster and meteorologist from the show previous. Apparently the difference will be to appeal to viewers age 18 to 49 with a “fast-paced format.” We envision half an hour of action-movie style cuts jamming the most sensationalistic segments possible into our eyes. Again, we fail to see how this will set the program apart.

Also of note is the fact that one of Fox’s three syndicated slots for “The Simpsons” will be taken over by WFLD’s latest and greatest. Label us Reactionist, but we’re not sure that will go down so well. We recall some years ago when Fox tried to put a different show in that same slot. Due to the immediate, astounding amount of complaints, there soon appeared a commercial run by the station apologizing for even thinking of messing with the schedule, which was restored within a few days. However, local reports suggest the “Simpsons” market has been eroding for several years now owing to pressure from “The Daily Show” and other competitors, as well as Fox’s well-known tactic of showing episodes within weeks, sometimes days of each other. And considering how gung-ho WFLD is behind the new news, only ratings will tell what stays and what goes.

Image via Senses of Cinema.