>The 4:30 AM Birthday Follow Up

>As we’re celebrating a birthday today, we’ve got a couple things to pick up.

Your Editor is 25 years old today, something that didn’t seem possible for us personally 10 years ago.

With the pleasantries out of the way, it’s time to focus on a suddenly VERY crowded 4:30 AM news race…

WCPO Hops Into the Fray: Yes, the only station that had NOT declared entry into what was, when we left for Missouri, a 3 horse race at 4:30 AM, did so last week.

This entry from the Kiese Blog details why WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati decided to hop in. ABC has given affiliates permission to, if they choose, take over the 4:30-5 AM time block, and Channel 9 has decided that with WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati jumping in, they didn’t want to be the odd station out.

With ABC getting out of the way at 4:30, ABC will move “America This Morning” to 4:00 AM. (We presume that in cities where affiliates choose not to take over at 4:30 AM, ABC will still give those affiliates a 4:30 AM lead-in to local news.) Katherine Nero, Larry Handley, and the entire crew of “Good Morning Tri-State” will lead an expanded news block at 4:30 AM.

WKRC Plans Updated: Across I-71 at 1906 Highland, it looks like the current “Good Morning Cincinnati” team at WKRC will also extend their working hours.

But we saw advertisements this morning touting that the newly expanded newscast will start not at 4:30 AM – but at 4:25 AM. And both traffic anchor Bob Herzog and AM meteorologist John Gumm posed questions to fans of their respective facebook pages to see what their fanbase thinks of the new move.

By the way, it also looks that Kit Andrews will continue to anchor the now-expanded 4-5 PM block, as well. (By the way, the above link also explains the disposition of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” – it jumps over to WXIX-TV 19/Newport.)

FOX 19 Expanding, Too…: But WXIX is planning to go the OPPOSITE direction, expanding later into the morning hours.

Kiese reports on this one too, saying that Frank Marzullo will be paired with a still-to-be-hired new anchor for a new 9-10 AM hour of what looks like a newscast geared to the stay-at-home parent. (Kiese said stay-at-home moms, but we know some dads stay home with their children, as well.) And it appears that another meteorologist will be hired to help 4:30-9 AM, too, while Rob Williams and Sheila Gray will have a limited presence in that new hour.

One has to wonder if FOX 19 News Director Matt Miller saw something he liked in Marzullo’s recent stint as replacement anchor, and decided to give him a shot at a regular position…

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