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seattlepi.com


KOMO cancels 'Northwest Afternoon' after 24-year-run

As it basked in the afterglow of a strong showing at the regional Emmy Awards ceremony KOMO/4 announced Monday that it will pull the plug on "Northwest Afternoon," the locally produced talk and entertainment show that has been on the air for nearly 24 years.

In a news release distributed Monday afternoon, KOMO vice president and general manager Jim Clayton gave no reason for the decision. A station spokesman later said poor ratings are the culprit. "NWA" goes head to head in the Seattle market with "Rachael Ray" on KIRO/7 and "Dr. Phil" on KING/5.

The station said on-air personalities will remain with the station "and be integrated into news and other programming."

"Northwest Afternoon" is co-hosted by Natasha Curry, Cindi Rinehart and Kent Phillips. It offers the same sort of fare as nationally syndicated daytime programming -- touring authors, visiting celebrities, consumer advice, etc. -- with the added fillip of Rinehart's soap opera updates.

"Northwest Afternoon," which airs weekdays at 3 p.m., will wrap at the end of August and be replaced in the fall by "The Doctors," a nationally syndicated program developed by Dr. Phil McGraw's production company. "The Doctors" will feature an ensemble of medical experts in a roundtable discussion of daily topics.

Before the finale, Clayton said viewers can expect a retrospective look at some of the show's luminaries and landmark episodes over the years.

"This has been an outstanding program for many years in the local market," Clayton said. "Shows like 'Northwest Afternoon' are unique in today's broadcast industry. It is a true testament to those employees who have worked on it over the years."

Aside from newscasts and sports shows, original daily programming on commercial TV stations is increasingly rare. The departure of "NWA" will leave KING's "Evening Magazine" as the only locally produced daily program on commercial TV in Seattle.

KOMO introduced "Northwest Afternoon" in September 1984. The show's original co-hosts were Dick Foley and Dana Middleton.
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