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KCCI-TV Adds Two Hours of Weekend News

DES MOINES, IOWA: KCCI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Central Iowa, is adding two hours to its weekend morning newscasts. Both the Saturday and Sunday morning newscasts soon will begin at 5 a.m. Saturday’s local news will run from 5 to 6 a.m., give way to the “Early Show” for two hours, and resume from 8 to 9 a.m. Sunday’s local newscast will run from 5 to 8 a.m. and be followed by “CBS Sunday Morning.”

KCCI’s weekday morning newscasts start at 4:30 a.m., an early-morning trend sweeping stations across the country. KCCI claims to be the only station doing a 4:30 a.m. newscast in the Des Moines market. The station was one of last year’s winners of the Edward R. Murrow Awards for Best Newscast and Overall Excellence.

KCCI is owned by Hearst, which is in retransmission negotiations with DirecTV. KCCI and the other 28 Hearst TV stations are warning DirecTV subscribers that signals could be dropped from the satellite carrier’s systems if no accord is struck before the current contract expires Jan. 1, 2011.

“We believe that we and DirecTV can conclude our negotiations before Jan.1 so as not to deprive any of our respective viewers and customers of our programming. However, we want to advise our viewers and customers that the possibility of non-renewal of our current agreement exists,” said KCCI President and General Manager Paul Fredericksen. “We will continue to keep our valued viewers informed of developments, on our air and our Web site,