Beginning in the fall, Austin television station KVUE's "Daybreak" morning newscast will start 30 minutes earlier and last half an hour longer than it does now, station executives said Friday.
KVUE, Austin's ABC network affiliate, will move the start of "Daybreak" from 5 a.m. to 4:30, with the newscast continuing to run until 7.
Austin's other television stations with local morning shows — NBC affiliate KXAN, Fox affiliate KTBC and CBS affiliate KEYE — all begin their early-morning shows at 5 a.m.
Patti Smith, KVUE's president and general manager, said that the station's management has wanted to do a 4:30 a.m. newscast for some time but that contractual obligations with the ABC network required the station to air "America This Morning" from 4:30 to 5 a.m.
"It took a change in our agreement with ABC that would allow us to do it," Smith said.
Smith said the station has received notes from viewers expressing a desire for local news starting at 4:30 a.m. and said KVUE's decision to do so "underscores our commitment to local news ... when other people are reducing the amount of news they are covering."
The on-air team of Melissa Gale, Olga Campos and Albert Ramon will continue on "Daybreak," Smith said.
Smith said the station will hire additional production staff for the expanded show but declined to say how many workers would be added.
The start date for the expanded newscast hasn't been decided, Smith said. "It will depend on the hiring process, and then we'll go with it."
KVUE is owned by Belo Corp., which operates 20 television stations, including WFAA in Dallas, KHOU in Houston and KENS in San Antonio.