Hip-Hop ‘Empire’ Takes Over Fox 5 News Each Wednesday

WNYWIt’s another example of the troubling state of local news.

In an effort to promote the second season of Fox’s successful drama, Empire, based on the music industry, WNYW is unthinkably giving away its last 30 minutes following each episode. Anchors Steve Lacy and Dari Alexander host the After Empire party, complete with hip-hop themed performances and DJs spinning on the turntables. Even this week, just 24 hours after a cop was gunned down, wasn’t enough to alter their programming, although hosting duties went to entertainment reporter Simone Boyce.

Yes, a station’s late newscast (still has the Fox 5 graphic in the corner with time and temperature) airing live music. Ever heard of that one?

This makes sense on the morning newscast Good Day New York, especially in the lighter 9 a.m. hour where performers regularly take the stage.

Promoting a station’s prime time lineup within the news, and vice versa, isn’t unique. They all do it. Channel 7/WABC might be best, teasing its 11 p.m. with a 5-second promo featuring a local angle involving the program airing at that moment.

When a network covers a big event, you’ll find a reporter from that local affiliate on the red carpet for reaction. But the post-game analysis is no more than a live update or two.

WNYW151021224344The Empire “party” reminds me of the Yankees in the World Series on Fox. Russ Salzberg would host a short wrap-up show directly after the game and before starting the actual newscast. While it’s promoting the World Series on their airwaves, it’s primarily done for the Yankee fans (and probably for Mets next week).

We’ve seen Channel 5 recap American Idol every week during the 10 o’clock broadcast, only minutes after the latest contestant would go home or someone won. But no singing (other than a show clip). Just a brief entertainment segment, not an entire “episode.”

Ironically, the announcer for After Empire called it a “news segment.” But this is promotion masquerading as news.

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