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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — American Forces Network worldwide will cut its nightly newscasts in half starting Monday, a response to viewer trends, according to AFN officials.

“It’s a good change for us,” AFN Korea spokeswoman Capt. Miki Gilloon said Friday. “We can better pool our resources.…This is a leaner package.”

In South Korea, instead of the current 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. half-hour newscasts, AFN will run 15-minute segments starting at 6:45 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., according to AFN Korea. The remaining 15 minutes will be filled with the Pentagon Channel in the earlier slot and Headline News in the latter.

While the decision to halve the newscasts comes from AFN’s management, the change reflects preferences expressed in a survey in summer 2005 of South Korea’s viewers and listeners. In that survey, viewers said they would like shorter news segments, said Douglas Griffin, AFN Korea broadcasting director.

Although AFN Korea occasionally provides segments for “Pacific Report,” Casiano said it’s not a priority since officials on the peninsula have their own regional newscast.

AFN Tokyo also produces a pair of one-minute news breaks shown during commercial breaks throughout the day.

The shakeup won’t require changes to radio programming or personnel in either Japan or South Korea, the AFN officials said.

“Our primary mission is to inform and entertain the troops,” Casiano said. “Our stateside programming on radio and TV gives them that touch of home. Information-wise, we make sure everyone up and down the chain of command knows what’s going on around the services. This is part of that evolution of us continuing to expand … and improving our service to the troops.”

AFN-Korea’s new schedule

6 p.m.: Headline News

6:30 p.m.: Pentagon Channel

6:45 p.m.: AFN Korea Nightly News

7 p.m.: Prime-time lineup

10 p.m.: Headline News

10:15 p.m.: AFN Korea Nightly News

10:30 p.m.: Late-night lineup


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