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Central Arkansas now has another television news show fighting for a slice of bleary-eyed morning viewership — though this take on pre-dawn news promises a lighter, more youthful edge. While the new entry isn't local, it will mark the Little Rock debut of yet another Central High grad who has gone off and made good.
The show, syndicated in over 145 markets from a studio in Orlando, Fla., is called “The Daily Buzz.” Seen in other markets on Fox, CBS and independent stations, it will air in Little Rock on CW affiliate KASN Channel 39, with a live broadcast from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. weekdays. Just turned five years old this September, “The Daily Buzz” promises a more youthful, energetic take on news and weather.
Kia Bynum Malone, a 1992 graduate of Little Rock Central High School, is the show's news anchor. One of four perky 30-somethings that man “The Daily Buzz” desk, Malone worked in radio for 10 years, and was a television reporter in Oklahoma City when she heard from her agent about an opening at “The Daily Buzz” two and a half years ago. At the time, the show had just become available in the Oklahoma City market.
“I turned on the TV and I went, ‘What in the world?' ” Malone remembers, laughing. “ ‘You want me to do that?' ” After an audition and meeting the rest of “The Daily Buzz” staff however, Malone said she fell in love with the show. She describes “The Daily Buzz” — which bills itself as “News With Personality,” and includes input from stand-up comedian Andy Campbell, self-described “zany” weatherman Mitch English and co-anchor Andrea Jackson — as somewhere between “The Daily Show” and morning radio.
“We are a crazy show,” Malone said. “You'll never know what's going to happen. The great thing about it is, we're giving you the — quote, unquote — ‘real news' of the day and just slipping some personality in there.”
Malone said that a lighter, more youthful style of news show like “The Daily Buzz” is the wave of the future when it comes to morning programming.
“It's amazing. All of my friends who are still in the local news business, they say, ‘Do you guys have any job openings? I'll do anything.' ” Malone said. “This is the way that news is going now. Just kind of laid back. No more stuffy suits and Anchor Bob hair and all that.”
Allan Snyder, marketing and promotions director for CW Arkansas, said the problem with most morning shows, whether on a local or national level, is that they tend to skew a little old when it comes to the ratings. For that reason, Snyder said, 18- to 34-year-old viewers have all but abandoned morning news programming. By contrast, he said “The Daily Buzz” is targeted directly at the younger viewers, and plays to their mindset by offering younger anchors, a more irreverent take on things, and stories and viewpoints tailored just for younger viewers.
“I think the younger demographic is turned off just by the stiffness of local news,” Snyder said. “(Also by) things like the gardening segments that really don't appeal to what their lifestyle is. … I don't think the 18- to 34-year-olds aren't interested in news. They want to be informed. They just don't want to be put back to sleep in the morning. This is a morning show that's going to give you a reason to get up 30 minutes early.”
For more information and to see clips from the show, go to “The Daily Buzz” website at: www.dailybuzz.tv.
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