WLS, KREN News Going HD

WLS-TV ("ABC 7") in Chicago will become "the first and only television station in the market" to begin airing its entire local news and prime time program lineup in HD starting on Jan. 6, WLS said in a company statement.

The ABC affiliate, which will air its local newscasts in 720p, joins about two dozen others to air local news in an HD format. WLS-TV likens the transition to the switch from black-and-white to color for viewers. The station provides 33 hours of local news in a typical week.

And KREN-TV, the CW affiliate in Reno, Nev., was set to launch its local news in HD this week in the smallest market to make the local news transition. The program on the Pappas-owned outlet will be the first HD news product for a CW affiliate and the first "locally produced" 10 p.m. news for the Reno market, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

But KREN-TV may be getting some competition as early as this week from NBC affiliate KRNV-TV. The Sunbelt Communications outlet is reportedly hoping to launch its own HD newscast in a matter of days.