By Wayne Harada
Soon, we can wake up to local morning news updates Saturday and Sunday mornings — thanks to KITV4’s announcement today that it will launch 6 to 8 a.m. localcasts on the weekend, beginning Sept. 18.
Two seasoned anchors-reporters will man the news desk: Jodi Leong and Paul Drewes.
Leong is a veteran broadcast reporter and anchor; the weekend duty might become a challenge if and when she takes an active role in local community theater, which she does periodically.
Drewes is a certified meteorologist, reporter and weather anchor relatively new to the Channel 4 lineup; he was bumped when his previous slot at KHNL8, which merged news operations with KGMB9 to become Hawaii News Now.
The weekend show will is officially called KITV4 News This Morning. It gives the ABC affiliate bragging rights, since it will be the only station to offer a local morning newscast — unless the competition joins the bandwagon.
The move reflects the ongoing commitment to provide and intensify local news by Mike Rosenbrg, KITV president and general manager. He earlier extended KITV4’s 10 p.m. to an hour for late-night viewers, co-anchored by Paula Akana and Lara Yamada, along with a 6 p.m. newscast on Saturdays with Pamela Young, and now he’s targeting a weekend morning audience — a sensible move for newshounds.
“With the success of our recent launches of our hour long 10 p.m. news and our Saturday 6 p.m. news, going to seven day morning news coverage seems a logical next step,” he said in a statement.
“Mornings are the fastest growing time period when it comes to news,” said news director Genie Garner.
She’s right, of course. A lot of stuff happens Friday night and does not get reported on TV till Saturday night, online postings excluded.
As Garner said, “News does not stop on the weekends.”