As part of its ongoing strategy to bring news that matters to viewers and further compete in the marketplace, NBC4 Southern California has made several changes to its newscasts.
Beginning with Today In LA, Michael Brownlee will co-anchor the news show, alongside Alycia Lane, and replace Kathy Vara, who will anchor the weekend newscasts at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The NBC4 News at Noon, which has been anchored by Brownlee, will now be co-anchored by incoming anchor/reporter Whit Johnson. Johnson joins NBC4 Southern California after a successful career on Capitol Hill and will co-anchor with Lucy Noland starting in September.
Building on the success of the NBC4 News at Noon, the newscast will include 30 additional minutes of news, airing from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The decision to grow the newscast comes on the heels of increasing Nielsen ratings and growing popularity of the news format, including the recent addition of Ask Dr. Bruce, a segment that allows viewers to submit their health questions to be answered by NBC4’s health expert.
NBC4 will now 35.5 hours of news per week on the main channel.
“It is our goal to make NBC4 the best local news station in Southern California,” said Steve Carlston, president and general manager of the station. “These additions to our anchor desk and growth in coverage demonstrate our full commitment to a better news product and greater coverage.”
As part of the plan to boost local news gathering and information, more than 16 new employees have joined the newsroom since Carlston’s arrival — including the recent hire of Todd Mokhtari as vice president of news. Other staff changes include the reassignment of Stephanie Elam to full-time general assignment reporter and Carlos Hopkins as Dayside Executive Producer.
“It’s part of NBC4’s culture to produce high-quality news content for Southern California's unique audience,” said Todd Mokhtari, vice president of news at the station. “These changes reflect our priority to deliver on that tradition every day, every newscast."
NBC4 Southern California continues to demonstrate its talent and capacity to successfully compete in the marketplace. Recently, it won seven Emmy Awards and swept the honors for all three highly competitive regularly scheduled newscasts for a second consecutive year, including the best daily morning newscast for Today in L.A. at 6 a.m., best daily daytime newscast for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. and best daily evening newscast for NBC4 News 11 p.m.
The London Olympics also proved to be a signature viewing event for the station. Eighty-four percent of Los Angeles market households watched the games on NBC4, with an average 11.3 million people tuning into the network’s 17-day coverage of the Games.
NBC4’s primetime coverage averaged an extraordinary 10.5 rating among adults ages 25 to 54, making it the highest-rated program of the year, tripling the combined ratings of the general market competition. With a 3.8 rating among adults ages 25 to 54, NBC4’s late news towered over the competition, tripling the ratings average of the second-placed late newscast.