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Hawaii Station Expands Saturday News Block

HONOLULU: KITV-TV is adding another half-hour to its weekend newscast starting Saturday, May 1. The Hearst-owned Honolulu ABC affiliate will add 30 minutes of local news beginning at 6 p.m., after “ABC World News” at 5:30 p.m. The addition of the half-hour essentially bumpers “World News” with dual, local newscasts.

“We received positive feedback after expanding our weeknight 10 p.m. newscast to a full hour last fall,” said Mike Rosenberg, KITV president and general manager. “We believe our viewers not only want more news but can be better served with the addition of local news on Saturday.”

KITV competes in the market with KGMB-TV, KHNL-TV and KFVE-TV, the CBS, NBC and MyNetworkTV affiliates respectively. The three stirred local media watchdogs last year when they entered into a shared services agreement valued at $22 million. The local Star Bulletin reports that the triad, now rated as one, won the February 5 p.m. newscast race a 9 rating and 25 share. KHON-TV, the Fox affiliate, took the 6 to 7 a.m. timeslot, as well as 5 to 6:30 p.m. KITV meanwhile took 1 to 5 p.m. for 25-to54s.

A tsunami warning in February boosted Hawaii’s local news numbers as well. One news executive estimated that 20 percent of the state’s population tuned into live newscasts.