Groundbreaking Houston Newscast Celebrates First Anniversary
The local television newscast like none other in America has reached a milestone – a full year of innovation in showing viewers a new way to experience news.
On March 19, 2011, Tribune’s KIAH-TV debuted NewsFix, the creative, anchorless newscast that has captivated the Houston market with convincing success.
“Making the transition from the traditional news format has been an energizing experience,” said Roger Bare, VP/GM of KIAH. “I’m proud of the commitment and hard work that has led to NewsFix’s success.”
Newsfix has the highest percentage of overall viewership under the age of 34 (55% at 5p, 57% at 9p), nearly doubling the percentage of its closest competitor in the market. The median age of the Houston television late news viewer is 55.8, NewsFix’s 9:00pm median age is 32.5, the youngest median age among late newscasts in the market. Overall, NewsFix’s viewership has significantly increased, more than doubling its weekday 5:00pm audience since its debut, while doubling 5:00pm and 9:00pm ratings in the 18-49 and 25-54 age groups.
“We are pleased with what NewsFix has accomplished in its first year,” said Nils Larsen, CEO of Tribune Broadcasting. “It has proven to be a viable news format, one of many recent innovations in newsrooms across Tribune Broadcasting.”
“We have created a new format that some would consider alternative news,” said KIAH News Director Gary Jaffe. “We have proven to be engaging and thought-provoking, and we verbalize it in a catchy and responsible way.”
While NewsFix has broken new ground in terms of local news presentation, the program’s diversity of content has created a journalistic forum unlike traditional broadcasts. Features such as Bullet Points (hosted by former radio personality and gun shop owner Jim Pruett) and Crime Bureau (Harris County Constable Victor Trevino) provide unique community awareness. The weekly NewsFixer investigative segment fights bureaucratic red tape to provide solutions for viewers, and prompted a nationwide removal of a potentially dangerous pet product from store shelves.
“We’re providing an open line of communication with our viewers,” said Jaffe. “We’re casting a wide net of content aggregation, and that’s what our viewers keep coming back for—especially first-time news watchers who enjoy experiencing news in a new way.”
“Before our launch there was much skepticism among media watchers, who wondered if NewsFix would succeed,” said Steve Simon, the show’s executive producer. “We’ve answered that.”