WLEX adding 4:30 a.m. newscast

Lexington is getting another local newscast.

On Monday, NBC affiliate WLEX (Channel 18) will begin airing local news from 4:30-5 a.m. weekdays, expanding its 5-7 a.m. news block anchored by Chris Goodman and Nicole Pence.

"It was just a natural extension of what we're doing already," said WLEX News Director Bruce Carter.

The inevitable question, of course — is it too much news?

"I remember years ago, people asked who's going to watch at 5 a.m., and we have tremendous ratings at 5," Carter said. "So we know there's an audience out there at 4:30 a.m."

With the addition, WLEX will produce 6 1/2 of news daily. That's increased steadily in recent years as the station added half-hour newscasts at non-traditional times like 4 and 7 p.m.

Carter said a key portion of the 4:30 a.m. audience will be parents waking to get their children ready for school. While that group will dwindle during the summer months, he emphasized it's a good time to expand now because it will allow the station to receive results from the May viewership ratings conducted by Nielsen.

"With the May ratings book, we can get an idea of what the available audience is there," he said.

And WLEX may not be alone in adding a newscast at that hour.

Robert Thomas, news director at CBS affiliate WKYT (Channel 27), said the station has "also had discussions about expanding our morning news as well."

He declined to elaborate.