Channel 55: 2 new news shows

Photo of WCBS Newsman Chris Wragge in South

Photo of WCBS Newsman Chris Wragge in South Hampton. (May 27, 2012) (Credit: John Roca)

Monday morning, something new -- dramatically new -- at the little station based in Melville and long known simply as "Channel 55": A two-hour morning show at 7 and an hourlong evening newscast at 9.

Suffice it to say, this much news is a huge departure for a station -- purchased by CBS earlier this year for $55 million -- long dependent on reruns and game shows. And while based in the heart of Long Island, both shows -- "WLNY News at 9," anchored by Chris Wragge and Dana Tyler, and "Live From the Couch," anchored by Carolina Bermudez, John Elliott and Lisa Kerney -- will originate from Ch. 2 studios in Manhattan.

Begging the question: Just how much L.I. news will these broadcasts offer?

We spoke with David Friend, WCBS/2 news director (and Woodmere resident) about the newcomers.

How much of the 9 p.m. broadcast will be devoted to Long Island news?

This newscast will not just be geared toward Long Island news but will be a representative newscast for everyone in the tristate area. But will there be more [Long Island news]? Absolutely. With Richard and our two veteran correspondents , we'll have the largest [broadcast] TV presence on Long Island.

Why at 9 p.m.?

Its our opportunity to rewrite the local news landscape by launching a 9 p.m. news [hour] when there's an available audience. Our research shows that if you're not home by 6 p.m., your next available [sindow] to watch is 9.

The shows will originate from Manhattan, but how will Richard Rose -- the Ch. 55 veteran who joined this Ch. 2/Ch. 55 "duopoly" -- be folded in?

Richard Rose will be doing live reports from the Melville studio, which will function as a significant bureau. Richard has the ability to focus hyperlocally on Nassau and Suffolk [plus]; he'll deliver his reports from the Melville studio that may not necessarily require a one- or two-minute report -- he'll give a smorgasbord of little stories instead.

Tell me a bit about the new morning show, which you're calling a "soft launch" . Why soft? And what about L.I.?

We want an ensemble morning broadcast , and it'll take a little time for the team to jell; we want to give them just a little breathing space. . . . How much L.I. news on this? When warranted, we'll definitely be able to call upon our Long Island resources, but still, only when warranted.

Meet Ch. 55's new local reporters

Richard Rose

* New L.I. bureau chief

* Joined WLNY/55 in 1996

* Anchor and host of Sunday morning public affairs series

* Formerly anchor and reporter with stations in Jacksonville, Fla.; Portland, Me.; Colorado Springs; and Scottsbluff, Neb.

Jennifer McLogan

* Lives in Garden City with her husband and three children

* Returned to WCBS/2 in 1993 after working for Chicago's WBBW and "Nightly News"

* Began her career in Boston radio

* Covered the LIRR shooting, the crash of TWA flight 800, the Belle Harbor crash of flight 587 and the DWI limo murder trial.

Carolyn Gusoff

* Joined WCBS/2 as a Long Island reporter last year

* Was with WNBC/4 for 15 years and co-anchored "Weekend Today in New York"

* Covered L.I. at News 12, where her stories included the Tankleff murders and Amy Fisher-Joey Buttafuoco

* Cancer survivor

* Has contributed to numerous papers, including Newsday

* Lives in Nassau County with her husband and two children.

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