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KTVT's Expands 4 P.M. Newscast. With What?

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It's been rumored for weeks, but KTVT-Channel 11 made it official this afternoon: Starting Monday, it's expanding its 4 p.m. newscast by another half hour, with Keith Garvin and Tracy Kornet holding down the anchor desk. That means, sorry, no more Inside Edition on Channel 11; it moves to TXA 21 at 9 p.m., after which it'll be followed by something called EntertainmentStudios.com with Byron Allen.

But we've got questions for KTVT and TXA's senior veep and station manager Gary Schneider, who says in the press release that by expanding the newscast, "This allows us to better serve our viewers who have an appetite for local news." What, for instance, does Schneider expect to fill the newscast with -- a carousel of stories repeated throughout the broadcast, or will there be longer, substantive take-outs sprinkled in? We've left messages. If nothing else, the announcement comes at an interesting time for KTVT, which just bested WFAA-Channel 8 for the first time at 10 p.m. while also losing investigative reporter Bennett Cunningham, president and GM Steve Mauldin and Aaron Wische, executive producer of special projects and investigations.

Update at 5:43 p.m.: Schneider called back to say that, yes, with the 4 o'clock newscast going an extra 30 minutes, there will be "some longer-form pieces." But that will include, at the moment, a segment called "Survive and Save," which, he says, is "for people out of work about how they can save for college or shop for groceries, stuff like that." There will also be longer weather segments.

As for long-form stories about, oh, City Hall issues or statewide elections or other issues, he says, sure, sounds good -- only, it's "hard to say how often or how frequently" those will appear. "But since we do two hours of news on KTXA seven days a week, once a week we do segments with surrogates from Kay Bailey Hutchison and Rick Perry's camps during which they answer questions," he says. "So that's an instance of our companies doing what you're talking about."

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