Finally, finally, I watched WCFN's new local newscast. After hyping its impending premier a couple of months ago, I had not actually watched the UPN affiliate's local news until last night.
I'll be honest, 9:00 pm is not good for me. Most of the problem is I'm just not used to looking at local TV news that early. I suspect a lot of people are this way. Beyond that, I'm often still busy doing other things at that time and if I am watching TV at 9:00, it's most likely a prime time entertainment show (Law & Order, anyone?).
OK, the time is bad but what about the newscast? I liked it for the most part. I go in looking for an alternative to Sinclair Broadcasting's WICS news at 10:00 which I usually will not watch both on principle (I'm not receptive to Sinclair's propaganda) and for quality reasons (their news kinda sucks). I do think WCFN has a product that reasonably satisfies what I'm looking for.
Last night's newscast featured a number of local stories but also included state and national news. That's about the same mix as Ch. 20 so I'm going to call that a draw.
The WCFN newscast did not have any obnoxious rightwing commentary like Sinclair's Mark Hyman. That's a huge plus!
The anchor, Michael March, and weather forecaster Judy Fraser are recognizable from Champaign's WCIA news (WCIA and WCFN are both owned by the same organization). That's OK, but it's a little distracting to know they are in Champaign and not Springfield and they don't help things by seeming to force a "good evening SPRINGFIELD" line to lead off their appearances. Doing this, it looks like they are trying too hard to localize their presentations.
I wish WCFN would try to go against WICS head-on at 10:00. They may not beat Ch. 20 right away (or maybe ever) but I think they would get a larger audience than they are getting at 9:00.
WCFN broadcasts on Ch. 49 and is carried on Ch. 19 on Insight Cable here in Springfield.