When NBC News officially debuts Stay Tuned Now on its streaming platform tonight, it’ll be the rare national primetime news show based in Los Angeles which, because of distance and time zones, still is treated as the hinterlands from the D.C. and NYC media sphere.
Anchor Gadi Schwartz said, “For a long time, 8 o’clock rolled around and everyone’s like, ‘Oh well, we’re all done, and forgot that it is only 5 o’clock on the West Coast.’ This is a chance to reinvigorate the day’s news, and then expand the coverage with a perspective from the west looking east.”
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Schwartz will be doing the NBC News Now show from the network’s broadcast studios in Universal City. The newscast is part of an expansion of Stay Tuned, the Snapchat show he’s hosted for nearly six years along with Savannah Sellers.
The show will reflect Los Angeles’ cultural impact and the region’s dominance in tech. As an example, Schwartz pointed to a recent piece on the LAPD’s efforts to use a robot dog.
It will feature daily segments called the Future of Everything, covering advancements in tech and science, and The Temperature Check, a recurring feature on the changing climate. Lisa Crivelli is the executive producer.
“So there are these things that L.A. is on the cutting edge of so much, from the population growth to the demographics to the technological advancements,” Schwartz said. “And if you don’t have somebody here to really keep a pulse on a lot of these stories that will really show what is going to happen in the country in the next 5, 10 years, you’re really missing a huge picture of what is happening in the country.”
The debut of Stay Tuned Now also coincides with the streaming platform’s other programming change, with Hallie Jackson expanding her weeknight news program to two hours, from 5-7 p.m.
Stay Tuned Now will feature in other parts of the country, but Schwartz hopes to devote more time to certain coverage in the west. When it comes to breaking news, Schwartz pointed to recent coverage of the snowstorms in the San Bernardino mountains, stranding many residents.
“These are things that are catastrophic to a degree that you might not be able to see in a one-minute package, but you expand it out to 5, 6, 7 minutes and all of the sudden you see different reports showing how big of a scope a problem this is,” he said.
He added, “If something is breaking in California or anywhere in the west, we are hopefully going to be the first to lead with it.”
Schwartz moved to Los Angeles in 2013, first working at KNBC, starting off on the nightside shift, before moving to NBC News’ Los Angeles bureau three years later. He had previously worked at KOB-TV in Albuquerque.
Stay Tuned Now also will have an eye on what has resonated with Gen Z audiences for the Snap show.
“They appreciate headlines, and they appreciate you going deep on things they are not able to find thoroughly reported,” he said.
He said, “What we found with Stay Tuned is brevity for this that have been massively covered is key, unless you have first-hand reporting or unless you can offer a perspective that hasn’t been seen. And so we are going to be very respectful of our audience’s time.”
The look of the show also will be different from other newscasts.
“It is an ode to California sunsets,” Schwartz said. “We were trying to come up with how we wanted to encapsulate all of this. It’s almost like, ‘We are going to do the news,’ but there’s a beauty to a California sunset, even if you are sitting in traffic.”
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