BOSTON (WHDH) - Don’t touch that remote — Boston television is headed for a change next year when WHDH becomes an independent station.
But viewers will find the more things change, the more they’ll remain the same.
7News will still be right on Channel 7 and whatever cable channel you now turn to. Behind the scenes, station owner Ed Ansin says WHDH will be increasing staff and increasing news coverage.
“We want to have innovative features in the news,” said Ansin. “We want to have aggressive coverage in the news. Being an independent is a challenge and it makes you feel the competitive juices.”
Innovative and aggressive – both hallmarks of 7News.
“We have been and will continue to be ‘the News Station’ and we’ll continue to give viewers what they want to turn to,” said station General Manager Paul Magnes. “We will continue to be innovative. You’ve always been able to rely on us for breaking news and big story coverage, and that’s not going to change.”
What will change is how much news we bring you Monday through Friday.
7News Today in New England will now run from 5 to 10 in the morning. There will be news at noon and then from 4-7:30 p.m. And in addition to bringing you the news seven days a week from 10-11:30, 7News will now be adding a newscast at 9:00, giving an underserved audience what they want.
“Television viewing has changed,” said Ansin. “People aren’t glued to the network prime-time any more. Their living habits are frequently different. They’re going to bed earlier because they’re getting up earlier. We believe that there’s going to be a very good market for 9 O’clock News.”
WHDH will also continue to bring you entertaining programs between the news shows, including the popular Family Feud expanding into a news time slot.
“I’m excited about our programming,” said Magnes. “I’m excited about Family Feud at 8pm. I think that’s going to be a nice family-friendly program for the market and the people in Boston.”
While all of this may be new to New England TV viewers, it’s actually a familiar challenge for Ansin. Almost 30 years ago, his Miami station, WSVN, created the 7News powerhouse when it too lost its NBC affiliation and went independent.
Ansin says he doesn’t care that many are counting out his Boston station just as they did once before.
“Somebody said to me the other day, ‘well, you’re going to be the underdog,'” Ansin said. “I said, ‘That’s good. It’s good to be the underdog.’ That means you have to work harder.”
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