EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – In a bid to expand its local news coverage, Eyewitness News is set to become the first in the market to add a 6:30 p.m. show to its daily slate of newscasts.
The newscast, which begins Jan. 27 and will air on FOX Providence, will aim to engage viewers who are thirsty for local news and weather, but tend to miss earlier evening newscasts due to an increasingly busy life schedule, according to Karen Rezendes, the station’s news director.
“We’re expanding our early evening news coverage to help fit the busy lifestyles of our viewers in Southern New England,” Rezendes said. “Our news team is committed to providing them more local news and weather content when they want it.”
The 6:30 p.m. newscast will be co-anchored by Shannon Hegy and Steve Nielsen and feature deeper coverage of the day’s top stories along with breaking news, investigative reporting, sports and weather coverage led by Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca, she said.
Hegy, 28, who also co-anchors several other evening newscasts on WPRI 12 and its FOX Providence sister station, joined the station in October after a six-year stint with WGGB in Springfield, Mass. The Connecticut native and Hofstra University alumna said she is proud the station is adding the 6:30 p.m. show.
“I’m honored to be a part of this new venture for Eyewitness News,” Hegy said. “People are getting home later and later from work these days and I’m excited along with Steve to bring them news at a time that is convenient.”
Nielsen has been with WPRI-TV since 2011, working as video journalist and co-anchoring the station’s weekend morning show. The 27-year-old is a graduate of Arizona State University and earned his master’s degree from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.
“I am excited to take advantage of this new opportunity to bring local news coverage to Rhode Island at an entirely new time,” Nielsen said. “Our new show at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Providence will allow us to continue to bring viewers all of the key stories of the day, while also going more in-depth on the stories people care about. Shannon and I can’t wait to start.”
Patrick Wholey, the president and general manager of WPRI 12, FOX Providence and myRITV, said the new show reaffirms the station’s commitment to “giving our viewers more of what they’ve come to count on us for.”
“The new, nightly newscast will give them more local news coverage, more breaking news, and more dependable weather information when it’s convenient for them,” Wholey said.