Looks like DFW.com's recent report on Eye Opener, the morning show that originates from KDAF/Channel 33, may have been more timely than we expected.
In a lengthy post on his Uncle Barky's Bytes blog, local-TV watcher Ed Bark reports on an impending shakeup at Tribune-owned Channel 33. According to Bark, who cites station staffers who requested anonymity, the station's 5 and 9 p.m. newscasts will be made over in Eye Opener's image.
In a way, this makes sense; although it is owned by Tribune, KDAF is a CW affiliate (and before that, a WB affiliate), and although it has had a 9 p.m. newscast for well over a decade, it has never seemed like a good fit after the youth-centric programming that fills up the station's 7-9 p.m. prime-time block. A newscast like Eye Opener -- which, while having some straight news segments, puts the emphasis on energetic, often goofy, feature-style stories -- would seem to be a better fit with the CW's programming.
But even if it makes sense, it means a lot of people are going to lose their jobs in the process, and it's possible that the levening newscasts will decrease their local content. Although Eye Opener originates in Dallas and has local segments, it's intended as a national show and currently airs in Houston, Philadelphia, Miami and Portland, Ore., as well as Dallas.
Bark's source tells him that the current newscasts will remain in place until some new hires are made and that "All members of the staff have the opportunity to reapply for the newly created positions. They're basically re-starting from the ground up." Interviews are already happening, and a staff reduction of up to 30 percent is possible, according to the post.
KDAF's 9 p.m. newscast has undergone an exodus lately, with co-anchor Walt Maciborski, sports anchor Dave Crome and meteorlogist Bob Goosman all leaving, as well as several other on-air personalities. Amanda Salinas, who anchored with Maciborski, and meteorologist Rebecca Miller remain for now. For a much more detailed history of the station's newscasts, read Ed's post, which is linked above.