CW69 brings back 10 p.m. Atlanta newscast after airing Boston simulcast for almost five months

Sam Crenshaw provides a familiar face on the new CW69 newscast, which returned August 11 after nearly five months off.

Credit: CW69

Credit: CW69

Sam Crenshaw provides a familiar face on the new CW69 newscast, which returned August 11 after nearly five months off.

On Tuesday, the CW69 re-launched its Atlanta newscast at 10 p.m. after airing a Boston simulcast for nearly five months due to the pandemic.

CW69, which is owned by ViacomCBS, couldn’t afford to launch a local newscast from scratch based in Atlanta. So earlier this year, it created a hybrid using the resources of CBS’s existing 24/7 local news operations in different markets. CW69 hired a couple of local reporters but used an anchor out of New York.

That newscast lasted only a few weeks before the pandemic shut its New York operations down.

Instead, management decided to run a simulcast of a newscast created by Boston’s CBS affiliate WBZ, with inserted Atlanta weather reports. It was decidedly odd to hear news out of Lexington and Brookline instead of Alpharetta or Lawrenceville on an Atlanta-based station. But CW69 kept the simulcast on until Monday, August 10, nearly five months later.

Starting Tuesday, August 11, the station finally brought back an Atlanta newscast at 10 p.m. with a new primary anchor Katie Johnston, who is based out of Dallas.

There was one local news report from Valencia Jones, who opened Tuesday night with a piece about run-off voting and included an interview with Fulton County council chairman Rob Pitts. The other regular news pieces during the 30-minute 10 p.m. newscast were not local.

Sam Crenshaw, former 11Alive sports anchor, did a local sports report focused on the Falcons preseason camp. He joined the station in February. “I was invited to audition for it,” he said in a text Tuesday. “Thankful.”

Crenshaw worked at 11Alive (WXIA-TV) from 1998 to 2014 and has since done freelance work at Georgia Public Broadcasting, the City of Atlanta and Entercom.

The meteorologist Erin Moran out of Dallas did the local Atlanta weather.

CW69 repeated the 10 p.m newscast at 10:30 p.m.

Tom Canedo, the CW69 (WUPA-TV) general manager, said surprisingly, the ratings for the Boston simulcast were no worse than what they were getting before.

Why is CW69 not working with the Atlanta CBS affiliate? It’s because the Atlanta CBS affiliate (WGCL-TV CBS46) is actually owned by Meredith, not CBSViacom. Meredith shares resources and provides newscasts for its sister station Peachtree TV (WPCH-TV, once Ted Turner’s Superstation of yore.)