Anchors Susan Roesgen and LeBron “LBJ” Joseph will sit on bar stools as they introduce and comment on stories in mostly unscripted conversations. There will be a cocktail of the day, as concocted by a local bartender, and each broadcast will conclude with a mini-commentary called “Last Call.”
Clearly, stories will be on the lighter side, and with an emphasis on New Orleans culture. “Kind of a slice of what’s happening today in the city,” WGNO news director Rick Erbach said, citing news-talk radio and the syndicated news-and-entertainment “P.M. Magazine” program of the late 1970s and ’80s as influences on the new half-hour. “Our mantra is, ‘It’s not a traditional newscast.’ ”
During the November “sweeps” ratings period, WGNO averaged a 1.4 rating (with each rating point representing 1 percent of total TV households, or about 6,360 homes) with its 6 p.m. newscast, which Erbach described as a placeholder until the station could mount “News With a Twist.” That’s down from the 1.9 rating earned in November 2009 by the syndicated game show, “Deal or No Deal.”
It was New Orleans where Roesgen first caught the attention of CNN viewers, cheerfully chirping about a Bush-Hitler caricature.
Now that everyone in Louisiana is going Republican, will Roesgen be able to keep herself from lecturing interview subjects?