December 19, 2006, marked the beginning of a new newscast on channel 56. 7 News at 10 on CW 56 debuted as a flashier, even more over-the-top version of 7’s style-over-substance broadcast.
Taking music and graphics from their Miami sister station, WSVN, 7 News took the tame and mature model of The Ten O’Clock News and threw it out, opting instead for stories and anchors that better fit the intended demographic for the then-new CW network. In addition, nearly all references to the station’s new branding of CW56 were stripped, leaving the 7 News name as the only one present in nearly all circumstances.
7 News at 10 was supposed to be the market’s most contemporary newscast with high ratings from the coveted 18-34 demographic, but the way that things turned out went quite differently. Hit the jump for the whole story.
Gallery: 7 News at 10
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The debut newscast, anchored by Frances Rivera and Matt Lorch, began with a nearly seizure-inducing reel of Donald Trump, small dogs, volcanoes, food, and various Youtube-esque clips that wouldn’t look out of place on Tosh.0. Interestingly enough, out of the six intro stories, none of them were of local news.
Compared to the outgoing newscast of just twenty-four hours prior, the Bulfinch Place-based broadcast appeared overdone and exemplifying the style-over-substance approach to news that has been a constant at 7 since the day Sunbeam took over. Critics lambasted the show, going as far to compare it with Coca-Cola’s ill-fated New Coke experiment. Online publication The Bostonistin particular was particularly vocal, remarking, “The New Coke Newscast might appeal to you if you like Entertainment Tonight, seizure-inducing flashing lights, and out-of-breath newscasters. But, for those of you who like to catch the local news before going to bed, you’ll be in for a disappointment.”
Rivera and Lorch delivered the news with frequent interruptions that evening, being cut off by “whooshes” and graphical teases. The entire hour-long program was characterized by the same flashy tricks that it became nearly unwatchable, especially for those accustomed to WB56’s more formal broadcasts.
When all was said and done, the new broadcast received a 2.1 rating, lower than the finale of The Ten O’Clock News. Fox 25, on the other hand, finished out the night with a 5.8 rating, which was much higher than normal. As a result, station management replaced the tacky Miami graphics and music with a package nearly identical to that of WHDH, with the only change being the removal of the NBC peacock in favor of the CW56 logo, and the addition of the logo below the 7 News bug in the lower right corner.