Starting on March 14th, Fox 25 will begin airing a newscast at 6:30 p.m. The network owned-and-operated station announced today that it will expand its 6 p.m. newscast to one hour in order to compete more effectively against the big three network affiliates. As usual, the newscast will be anchored by Mark Ockerbloom and Maria Stephanos.
Fox 25 launched a 4:30 p.m. newscast in 2001, targeted toward a primarily female audience. However, by 2002, the newscast was bumped to 5:00 and had become more generic in its targeting. In September 2003, the newscast was expanded to a full hour and began using the same anchor team as the 10 p.m. show. In September 2009, the 5 p.m. newscast was dropped in favor of a thirty minute 6:00 broadcast.
Ratings monster TMZ on TV will move to 7:00, followed by The Simpsons at 7:30. Seinfeld has been bumped from the schedule completely and will no longer air on Fox 25. Update: TV38 will begin airing Seinfeld at 7 and 11 p.m. starting March 21st.
Fox 25 has been expanding its news output recently. In October 2010, Fox 25 Morning News was expanded by 90 minutes and now airs from 4:30 until 10 a.m. Also, the station added an 11 p.m. broadcast in 2007. However, it is the only Fox owned-and-operated station without a 5 p.m. newscast to accompany its 6 p.m. show, and one of three O&Os without a midday newscast.