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WCCO-TV loses G.M., adds 4:30 a.m. news

A new, blunter CBS TV boss may mean less job security for WCCO-TV news director Scott Libin, but regardless of what happens, Channel 4 will pump out an even earlier morning newscast this summer.
By David Brauer

OK, let me be the last on the block to weigh in on the departure of WCCO-TV general manager Susan Adams Loyd. The Strib’s Neal Justin noted WCCO’s news shows are either first or second in the prime 25-to-54-year-old demographic. Sales numbers are reportedly ticking up after the economic collapse.

But in assessing the impact of Loyd’s leaving, it’s worth looking up and down the CBS org chart. Her exit comes just six months after Peter Dunn replaced Tom Kane as President of the 29-station CBS Television group that includes WCCO. Kane was a courtly sort of fellow; Dunn is anything but. Even though Loyd axed Paul Douglas and Jeanette Trompeter during Kane’s time, Dunn is a more bottom-line, hands-on sort who might make a career change seem more attractive. It will be interesting to see if he puts a protégé in WCCO’s top spot, and, given Dunn’s cross-platform proclivities, whether that speeds up any consolidation with the WCCO-AM newsroom.

All this, of course, puts news director Scott Libin’s job in play; it’s a little like a new baseball or football general manager wanting to hire his own coach.

Given the recent ratings, it’s certainly possible that the G.M. will look at the balmy numbers and direct attention to the sales side — there are only so many crises you want to foment. But no doubt Libin — who was hired by Loyd from a journalism think tank after a stint at KSTP — has a less certain future today than yesterday.

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Meanwhile, Libin and his troops will be kicking out more news beginning in early June.

Following the April lead of Fox9, WCCO will debut local news at the mind-numbing time of 4:30 a.m.; the tentative start date is Monday, June 7. WCCO’s current newscast starts at 5; are commutes really getting that long, or insomnia getting that bad? Reportedly, current morning anchors Mike Binkley and Angela Davis will share the alarm clock re-set; the single-anchor format will also feature unlucky weathercaster Mike Augustyniak.