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Wake Up! to Battle the Network Morning Shows


You have to admire Channel 4's audacity of hope in expanding its morning news program "Wake Up" to four hours on weekdays starting Feb. 2.

The extra two hours, which start at 7 a.m. on sister station Channel 23, will mean co-anchors Melissa Holmes, Joe Arena and Mike Cejka will be competing with CBS' "The Early Show" on Channel 4, NBC's "Today" on Channel 2, ABC's "Good Morning America" on Channel 7 and the cable news programs.

It certainly will be a test of the power of local television news on a much less powerful station than the network programs are on.

I guess a fair test will be whether "Wake Up!" does better than the sitcom and court shows that currently run from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., not whether it beats any of the network shows.

Even if "Wake Up!" finishes a poor fourth in the time slot, the expansion should enable Channel 4 to keep more news staffers on the payroll and that's a good thing.

What do you think of Channel 4's decision to promote Holmes, give Arena the anchor seat that Lisa Scott used to occupy and expand "Wake Up!"? Will you watch it at 7 a.m. or the network shows?

-- Alan Pergament

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