Monday, March 19, 2012

KIAH 39's NewsFix hits one year on the air

There were many doubts when KIAH 39 announced it was dumping traditional news for the new NewsFix format. I remember people giving it only a few months to survive. Well a year later, we get the release from the Tribune owned station heralding its one year 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.”

- KIAH 39 News: The last days in photo
- KDAF 33 studio set looks like old KIAH 39 one
- NewsFix: How are ratings for KIAH 39's anchorless news?
- NewsFix Behind The Scenes of CW39 KIAH
- KIAH 39's NewsFix gets product pulled
- KIAH 39 dumps traditional newscasts


  1. Mike, I find it very surreal it's been one year since NewsFix surfaced. I've stopped watching CW39 for news once the [albeit lowly-rated] CW39 News after NewsFix came along. I can't bring myself to watch NewsFix again even after blogging once about it in a review.

    Happy one year anniversary, NewsFix. Make a wish and blow out the candles on the birthday cake.

  2. Bad journalism, bad format, but probably great for the beancounters at Tribune as that thing looks cheap to produce. I can't watch it either...

  3. Mike, how do they come up with these numbers? I dont know anyone who watches Newsfix or CW for that matter. I stopped to watch Newsfix by accident and i was underwhelmed. Can they really be hitting the numbers they say their hitting? I just dont see it happeming at all.

  4. Like we learned when three Houston stations recently claimed to be number one at 10pm, the stations slice and dice the numbers in anyway to make them look good to ad buyers.

    I'm sure that KIAH is really good with the young demo because the entire station programs to that age group more than the other local stations.

  5. Doubling from zero to slightly higher than zero is not "success". Their #s stink in all demos, just less so in the younger demos. Their claim that they have the lock on the younger demos is not true. Take a look at the numbers before you pass along their propaganda.

  6. I can't believe a large market like houston has garbage like this! The previous poster is right... Doubling from zero is not success lol. And why do they call it "News" fix if it is stale and canned. "old" fix might be more appropriate. Recorded News??? Really?

  7. What are the numbers? Or are you too scared to post?

  8. I've never watched Newsfix, but I often watch their morning EyeOpener show, which usually contains lots of segments lifted from Newsfix. I don't think I could stand an entire show of that. The tone of the main guy doing the voiceovers is annoying and editorializes WAY too much. There's a By The Numbers segment I've noticed that's pretty interesting, but that's it. I'd compare Newsfix vs. other news shows to an alt-weekly vs. traditional newspaper, except I think there's still a level of professionalism behind the alt-weekly papers that I don't see evident in Newsfix segments.

  9. Roger Bare and Gary "the imaginator" Jaffe, are full of it. News Fix is successful in one way only...COST CUTTING!!! It is a product of a still bankrupt company who pays the employees pennies so the overhead is low along with the morale of employees. All stations bend numbers to make themselves look good, news fix is not immune to that. All the folks who work for News Fix are looking for a "New Fix", when it comes to employment and anyone who has worked for 39 knows that Bare and Jaffe are not trustworthy and Steve Simon would throw his own kids under the bus to keep a paycheck. Not to mention the little cat corner of 20 something female producers, (KM,FD,CS,SA...are the worst) more interested in going to the rodeo for free than putting together and good show. This place is a complete joke!!!

  10. It is the single worst program in the history of TV. The brain dead, stoner news reader dude editorializes too much. He is the most pathetic excuse for a host I have ever seen.

  11. hahahahahahahahaha! haters gonna hate! go newsfix!

  12. Fuck u Brian, Steve, and John, u shitheads!!!!!

  13. Ok, I admit it..i've watched NewsFix more than twice a week for the last few months and my verdict is in:
    It stinks.

    It's not news that braindead 20 somethings quit watching (and reading)real "News" long ago, so why not get a hip-looking ex-KLOL FM radio jock bald guy with a wisp of a goatee (really?) named Greg-o to host and editorialize a canned version "Yahoo"-like snippets of daily worldwide happenings? Because at Channel 39, they got nothing else.

  14. What about rating and share? 57% of people under 34 watch? That may be a victory, but people under 34 typically don't watch news. What's the rating and share? That's what I want to see.