Kevin Dietz back as two local TV stations add newscasts
Southfield — Former WDIV-TV reporter Kevin Dietz will return to television news Tuesday with an innovative 10 p.m. newscast on WADL-TV (Channel 38), and he concedes that he doesn’t fully know how it will work.
One night later, CW50 also will launch a nightly Detroit newscast, and viewers might not know where it’s from.
Dietz, an award-winning investigator, was bounced from Channel 4 in July after a spontaneous joke at a conference in Houston about cropping a black reporter from a photo — a one-liner he said was intended to highlight the challenge of recruiting a diverse staff.
Next week, he’ll launch “News Now with Kevin Dietz,” focusing each weeknight on two or three stories in a 30-minute program with live interviews.
“We’ll have the ability to do call-ins, just like radio,” said Dietz, who will continue his role as a fill-in host on WJR-AM (760). “I’d love to tell you exactly what it’s going to be, but we don’t know yet.”
WKBD-TV, meanwhile, will become one of three CBS-owned CW stations to launch low-budget 10 p.m. newscasts in time for the 2020 elections.
According to BroadcastingCable.com, the Detroit effort will feature two or three local multimedia journalists contributing to a program that is packaged, produced and padded with national content by the CBS station in Dallas.
CW stations in Atlanta and Tampa, Florida, will begin similar newscasts in February.
“Given advances in technology and the high demand for political advertising this year,” said Peter Dunn, president of CBS Television Stations, “this is a perfect time for us to launch newscasts.”
Dietz’s newscast will be produced at the Southfield headquarters of religious programmer Word Network and talk station WFDF-AM (910), both controlled by WADL owner Kevin Adell.
Adell noted that “a lot of political dollars” are in play, and he hopes to collect some of them with a broadcast that’s short on expense but long on depth.
“I already have the cameras. It’s not like we’ll be producing it in the basement or something,” he said. “It’ll be kind of like radio with pictures.”
Adell said he will be sharing revenue from the show with Dietz, but the number Dietz seemed intrigued with had to do with time, not dollars.
Earlier in his career, he said, he would often have five minutes or more to tell a story. In recent years, he might get three or 3 1/2, “and that’s for investigations.”
In the new show with his name on it, he’ll have eight minutes — “and if it’s good, we can go eight more.”