CNNRadio/WON format changes; 5-minute newscasts gone


CNN Radio and Westwood One have informed affiliates that beginning January 1, stations subscribing to CNN Radio through Westwood One will no longer receive their 5-minute newscasts.

Mark Heller, WGBW Radio, Two Rivers, WI told CNN he’s none too happy, after receiving the announcement about 2010 format changes: “No more five minute casts?  That’s what I’m reading! (We have advertisers contracted through summer for the Top of Hour casts…) This is unbelievable, that two minutes is all you’re offering. Please confirm this.  This is drastic in our market, especially against CBS Radio Network, five miles away! (another WONE product).”

CNN/WON did note affiliates will receive:

Live Newscasts 24/7:
Top of the hour:
:00- :02 live on satellite
Bottom of the hour:
:30 – :31 live on satellite
Wraps, Voicers, Reports, Actualities, Nat sound from CNN Radio will be Available

Live Shots:
CNN Radio correspondents in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta will be available during morning drive time, and anytime from the scene of breaking news, for live Q&A with your station.

During times of breaking news, CNN will provide breaking news coverage on Newslink.

We have put in a request to Tyler Moody, CNN Radio Director of Audio Content for an explanation/confirmation, along with Westwood One spokesperson Chris Miller. But meanwhile, Turner spokesperson Bridget Leininger tells us this is simply Westwood One not contracting with CNN Radio for the 5-minute newscast in 2010 (as they did in 2009). She said CNN Radio is happy to work with affiliates for supplemental content, and affiliates can work directly with CNN Radio to assess those content needs, including the 5-minute newscast (as they are still offering it).

She later recanted, “CNN Radio will be able to discuss content options with affiliates directly, but will not offer the 5-minute newscast. Tyler Moody confirmed through me, for you.”

We are still waiting for comment from Westwood One.