11Alive going all news on WATL-TV from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. starting December 2


Originally posted Tuesday, November 26, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Starting Monday, December 2, 11Alive is adding two more hours of local news on its sister station WATL-TV from 8 to 10 p.m. on top of its 10 p.m. newscast.

It will be the first and only local news operation with a newscast from 8 to 9 p.m.

Jeff Hullinger and Jennifer Bellamy will co-anchor the 8 p.m. hour. Ron Jones and Aisha Howard will co-anchor the 9 p.m. hour.

"It was an outgrowth of surveys we did with our staff," said general manager John Deushane. "It kind of makes sense." He isn't sure if anybody else in the nation does all prime time local news programming. He is also adding staff to accommodate the extra work.

Mark Shavin, a journalism lecturer at Georgia State University, said TV stations keep adding local news because it's often cheaper to operate than paying for syndicated programming such as "Dateline" and "Chicago P.D.," two options WATL has been airing from 8 to 10 p.m.

“They must feel the advertising dollars are there to support it,” said Shavin, who previously worked as a producer at Fox 5, Channel 2 Action News and 11Alive from 1984 to 2016.

WATL-TV already has weekday newscasts from 7 to 7:30 p.m. and 10 to 10:30 p.m.

11Alive currently airs local news from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m., 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 11:35 p.m.

At the 9 p.m. hour, WATL will be competing with a local newscast on Peachtree TV, CBS46’s sister station. At the 10 p.m. hour, WATL will compete directly with Fox5’s long-standing 10 p.m newscast for the entire hour.