Mainers who can’t wait for 5 p.m. to roll around every day so they can turn on the local TV news soon won’t have to.

Portland station WMTW-8 is set to launch the state’s first 4 p.m. local newscast on Sept. 6. The move is part of a trend toward afternoon newscasts around the country, said Amy Beveridge, the station’s news director.

“We knew this was a great opportunity for us, with a population that goes to bed early and rises early,” Beveridge said.

The new, hourlong 4 p.m. newscast will be fast-paced, like a morning news show, Beveridge said. Top stories will be recapped at 4:30 p.m. for viewers just tuning in, and breaking events such as news conferences will be aired live during the newscast when they happen, Beveridge said.

The newscast will also include some features usually shown during the station’s 5 p.m. newscast, including profiles of interesting places called “Hometown Maine” and profiles of businesses titled “Made in Maine.” That will allow the 5 p.m. show to have more hard news, Beveridge said.

The addition of the 4 p.m. newscast means WMTW will have 2½ hours of local news each weekday between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The other two Portland stations with local news, WCSH-6 and WGME-13, have 90 minutes of news between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. WMTW is usually ranked third among the three stations in newscast viewers.

WMTW added its 5 p.m. news in 2013, after a decade without one. WMTW launched Portland’s first 5 p.m newscast, in 1993.

Beveridge said the anchors of the new 4 p.m. newscast will be announced at a later date. Tracy Sabol and Steve Minich currently anchor the 5 p.m. news at WMTW. Beveridge also said the station likely will not have to hire more people to fill the extra hour.

To make room in the station’s schedule for the 4 p.m. news, WMTW will move Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, “Ellen,” from 4 p.m. to 3 p.m., and move “Steve Harvey” from 3 p.m. to 10 a.m., a spot currently filled by “The Meredith Vieira Show.” That show has been canceled.

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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