Tom Llamas focused on readying streaming newscast for primetime
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
In an interview with Variety, NBC News anchor and correspondent Tom Llamas has given viewers a few potential hints about what his new evening newscast on the network’s streaming platform might look like.
The format on NBC News Now will be fast paced and boast a high story count, he told Variety. That format appears to be a good fit for Llamas’ energetic, urgent delivery style.
The newscast, which is set to debut Sept. 20, 2021, doesn’t have a name yet, but Llamas said there are two names being tossed around, but declined to disclose them.
It will air at 7 p.m. eastern, just after “NBC Nightly News” and its rivals end in most east and central time zone markets.
That will put it up against Llamas’ one edition of a newscast he helmed during his time at ABC — “ABC News Live Prime.” ABC News Live is ABC News’ streaming service.
In most east coast markets, it will go up against syndicated entertainment news, game shows and local newscasts, while in the central time zone it runs up against part of local news and the start of primetime.
The timeslot is a busy, mostly news heavy one, that’s designed to target people who get home later and want a summary of the day’s stories.
“The News with Shepard Smith” airs on fellow NBCU network CNBC, with “The Situation Room” on CNN and “Your World” on Fox. MSNBC, on the other hand, is on the air with “The ReidOut,” a show that provides a mix of analysis and commentary.
In many markets, the show will also go up against “PBS NewsHour.”
Vicky Nguyen and Stephanie Ruhle appear to be set to play prominent roles on the streaming show, which will air on NBC News Now, the network’s news centric streamer that currently runs a schedule heavy on “Dateline” reruns when it’s not covering rolling news.
In addition, the newscast is getting a daily segment called “The Americas” that will include coverage from Latin America on issues important to Hispanic Americans, which is a growing demographic. The name of the segment also suggests it may look to explore how the entire western hemisphere is connected.
The interview didn’t venture into a long term revenue plan for the newscast, which, like NBC News Now as a whole, needs to rely on advertising to make money since there’s no cost for Now.
While NBC appears to have coaxed some big name advertisers to at least try out the platform, many of the commercial breaks are filled with promos for other network programming, which don’t generate revenue directly.
Also not addressed are earlier reports that Llamas may be, either unofficially or officially, in line for “Nightly” anchor Lester Holt’s job within a few years and perhaps this was one way NBC lured him away from ABC, where his chances for advancement appeared limited.
NBC has repeatedly declined to comment on such speculation.