Lunchtime Thursday I contemplated something about evening news here in the Midlands of South Carolina. While we have the luxury of Charleston news available to us as do Columbia, the Columbia market was fortunate to be 2013 and not 1989.
Until the early 1990's, WIS, the NBC affiliate, was the only station with an evening newscast (WOLO-ABC in 1992, WLTX-CBS in 1995, and WACH-Fox in 1996 added evening newscasts, with WACH only being a junior newscast of WIS for the early years before they branched out on their own with the only local three-hour newscast in the morning in the 21st century and one hour at 10 PM -- they tried a 7:30 PM for a while as a "last word before primetime" but didn't work well though it was sold as an Idol pregame). Television reruns dominated the other three stations (Andy Griffith on WLTX and Cheers on WOLO; WACH was too new at the time).
That could have spelled disaster in the Midlands for situations such as the 2005 Firecracker 400 (rain; ended after 2 AM) or last Wednesday's Boston-Chicago Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (three overtimes; ended at 1 AM) if television was still that way with only one station having evening news. Could you imagine more people reading the morning paper for results as the newscast didn't air until 1:30 AM in off the air territory. ◙