This Just In … Local News Changes Time Slots, Faces

Television news has always had a scheduled time that viewers could expect a recap of the events of the day. In the “old days,” we could sit down after dinner to the local news followed by nightly national news leading right into our favorite 8 p.m. sitcoms. But as generations age and the world evolves, so must television programming.

For the past 12 years, FOX 47 (WSYM-TV) has aired a half-hour newscast at 5:30 p.m. – but Vice President and General Manager Gary Baxter felt it was time for a change.

“A lot of us in mid-Michigan work until 5 or later, and our lives just get busier from there,” he said. “For all those people who are stuck in traffic or taking their kids to practice or making dinner, we are providing an opportunity for them to catch up on their day at a more convenient time.”

By moving to the 6:30 p.m. time slot, FOX 47 is the only station providing local content at that time along with big national stories of the day. The news program will continue to be presented by popular anchor Sarah Swistak, along with forecasts from meteorologist Dustin Bonk.

In the meantime, other local stations have recently made changes as well. Chivon Kleopfer, a morning and noon newscast staple at WLNS-TV, recently moved to an early evening time slot anchoring 5:30 p.m. news while keeping her lunchtime spot. Jorma Duran and Bonny Bowman now kick off the day along with meteorologist Emily Wahls.

WILX-TV has also seen some shifts, retiring its 4 p.m. newscast to focus on a new evening lineup. News 10 has added a 5:30 p.m. newscast with anchors Mallory Anderson and Barrett Tryon.

As for FOX 47, anchor Swistak is excited to offer the only local news in the 6:30 p.m. time slot.

“Dustin and I have been blessed with a very loyal fan base, and I’m confident they’ll be making the change with us,” Swistak said.

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