WCBS-TV / CH.2 / (CBS)
Channel 2 has had a low rated newswcast for as long as I can remember. They usually get the rejects from WABC (Storm Field, Roger Grimsby, Ernie Anastos, etc) Most of the former WABC alumni don't last very long at WCBS. A good deal of them now work at WWOR's 10PM news. The stations not bad. The news is very fast paced, headlines only style. Tabloid news at its finest. The set is generic, but OK. Like most NYC stations, there isn't a lot of local flavor here. The schedual of what's coming up later minute by minute in the newscast is a pretty cool idea (WWOR is now doing it too). It sometimes keeps me hooked.
WNBC-TV / CH.4 / (NBC)
Chuck and Sue, News institutions at WNBC. They too have a rather generic, but OK set. They are slower paced that WCBS, which is probably better. "Live at Five" is the better of the big cities 5PM newscasts. They have a bit too much fluff (movie reviews, Broadway play stuff, celebrity news), but not horrible. The local inserts into the "Today" show are the best that I have seen comparing to other NBC affiliates, but they are in the same building!
WNYW-TV / CH.5 / (FOX)
"Good Day New York" is the stations (and the areas) best local production. "GDNY" has cooking stuff, traffic, weather, celebrity interviews, and a total NY flair that network morning shows could never have. Hands down better than "Today" or "Good Morning America" for a mix of everything that those shows do. The 10PM news with John Roland is OK, kind of dull to look at though. I prefer WPIX's 10PM news, but not by much. The 10 O'Clock News has nice graphics, and surprisingly a limited amount of tabloid fare...something that FOX is known for. WNYW has come a long way since only a few years ago. They now are the FOX networks flagship station, and they have the Yankees broadcast rights! When they were WNEW-TV, they weren't much better than WLNY!
WABC-TV / CH.7 / (ABC)
Ken and Barbie ("Eyewitness") news. They were always more concerned with the look of the anchors, rather than the news content (remember when they fired Ms. Tong a few years ago, because she was getting old!) The set is really bad. They have fake monitors on the set, that look, well, FAKE! WABC recently updated their graphics, whick look real snazzy, but the set is aweful. They are the ratings champ in the big city, but I thing that's due to the "Oprah" lead in at 5PM. WABC has a good thing with the schedual for the nights programming "line up". They tell you whats coming up throughout most of the nights early programming.
WWOR-TV / CH.9 / (UPN)
Where all of NY's anchors go when they get canned! WWOR's 10PM news ("The I-Team") has some pretty decent talent now ("First Weather with Storm Field, Ernie Anastos, etc), not like a few years ago ("Helloooooooooooo Hackensak" Remember that guy?!) The set has a modern look to it that's kind of cheesey, but cool. The graphics / fonts are dark blue on a light blue background, with a "transistor" font in white for wording, a bit ugly - but not obtrusive. They have a by-the-minute rundown of what's coming up going into each break, which is a good teaser. Also they tell viewers how long it will be (:58 seconds) until they return. Overall a good sense of urgency to the production, but a very tabloidy newscast. Lots of "see what Moesha is up to..." type of UPN tie in stories, and other assorted fluff. Channel 9 doesn't do a lot of other local productions, and a good part of their 10PM news is done out of house by "CNN Newsource" and "NY-1". WWOR used to be the home of the NY Mets, but now the Mets are on WPIX-TV11 (WB).
WPIX-TV / CH.11 / (WB)
WPIX has my favorite 10PM news in NY. They have a real local feel to them. The anchors, are institutions in NY. A solid newscast that can be a bit dull, but the local news and feel are the best in the city. Otherwise WPIX is the home of "Seinfeld" reruns that give the 11pm newscasts on other stations some serious competition. WPIX lost the NY Yankees broadcasts to WNYW-TV5 (FOX), which was a big part of their identity in the metro area, but now they have the NY Mets. The Mets were an institution of WWOR-TV9 (UPN) for many years until WPIX lured them away. The only station that I know of that still runs "The Honeymooners" every night (just later now!). WPIX is also the place to see the Parades in NYC, and they always do a fantastic job of broadcasting them! Too bad that the "WB" network programming is so bad, it takes away from WPIX, rather than adding to it.
WNET-TV / CH.13 / (PBS)
NY's PBS affiliate doesn't produce as many programs that it used to, when it had money. It was at one time equal to WGBH (Boston) and WETA (Washington, DC) as a production leader in the PBS family. Cut backs took a toll on the station, unfortunately. They still do produce some great shows, just not as many. I bet you know someone who has the "Tote Bag"!
WLIW-TV / CH.21 / (PBS)
WNET Lite! A standard PBS affiliate that does little local productions besides the annual grub-a-thons. They do high quality productions the few times that they do them - including localized shows about the history of towns in the WLIW viewing area. There modest studios are in a couple of trailers in Plainview, NY - and you can see the tower from the Long Island Expressway, diagonally across from WLNY's studios in Melville. The station covers the entire NY metro area, but is primarily a Long Island station.
WNYE-TV / CH.25 / Public (NYC Board Of Education)
TV25 is a low powered station out of Brooklyn that covers all of the New York City area, as well as a big chunk of Nassau County on Long Island. They are very low budget! It isn't uncommon to see a seies of PSA's looped together for an hour at a time! Otherwise, they run educational fare and ethnic programming. Probably the worst looking station in the NY area.
WPXN-TV / CH.31 / (PAX-TV)
NYC's PAX-TV affiliate, a network aimed at people over 40 and families run by Born Again Christian Lowell "Bud" Paxson. The place to see "Dr. Quinn". No local programming yet and lots of infomercials in the overnight. WPXN used to be WBIS+, a great station that was a mix of sports and business - with a lot of local production. So far "PAX-TV" isn't very impressive.
WLNY-TV / CH.55 / (Ind.)
"New York 55" is a weird station. They have a split signal, meaning Long Island and Connecticut gets different programming than most of NYC and New Jersey. On the "A" feed they run first run syndicated programming like "Oprah", "Rosie", "Jeopardy", "Wheel of Fortune", "Inside Edition", etc. The "B" feed covers those show in NYC and NJ with old shows like "Matlock" and "The Rockford Files". So the "A" feed is good and the "B" feed is terrible. The news is beyond bad. The set is Chroma blue, a '70's throwback! They don't have a dimmer panel, so the lighting is poor, and they shoot on Hi-8 then edit to 3/4" tape formats, which is just amature to say the least. The owner is a right wing religious fanatic, so the news isn't non biased like it should be. Republican senators and the govenor are regulars, but you won't see a democrat here any time soon. The station recently cut the hour newscast in half to try and save some money, rather than make it a respectable broadcast. Good going guys... WLNY has a good amount of popular shows, just the overall presentation is lacking. The "Prime Time Movies" are edited to death too, due to the owner. Generally, a really bad station that easily could transform into a major player in the NY market, with the right owner.
WHSE-TV / CH.67 & 68 / (HSN)
It's Home Shopping, what more can I say. I liked it when it was "U-68", a Music Video Channel back in the 80's. Before that it was "WHT", a scrambled pay movie channel. Channel 67 broadcasts from Long Island (Ridge) and channel 68 broadcasts from North New Jersey.
NY-1 News/ Time Warner Cable / Local news
One of the best 24HR cable news stations in the country. They have a digital facility (DVCPRO) that looks great. The set is the news room, you can see into the control room and see the producers at work on the floor. The field reporters are really young and not polished, still not bad. The hour long call in sports show at 11PM (Weekends) is very weak. The set is cheesy looking and the sports guy looks like he's 12 years old. Each news story is recorded seperately, as it happens. This keeps the news fresh. There is no full pre recorded news shows, the stories run in a constant different order, keeping the station fresh. NY-1 has two live trucks, so they do a lot of live breaking news as it happens. NY-1 completely covers NYC and NYC only, making it a must have for all New Yorkers.
News 12 Long Island / Cablevision Systems / Local News
Not nearly as good as NY-1. News 12 pre-records it's entire news show and replays it for up to five hours at a time. Sometimes when breaking news happens, they run a crawl instead of breaking in to the recorded news, very weak. Most of the reporters come from WLNY-TV, which tells you how bad they are! The set is generic, with big loud graphics. It's good to have a local newschannel on Long Island, being that the NYC stations usually don't touch the Island, but it could and should be better. Being better than WLNY shouldn't be enough, they should be equal to NY-1. The hum is their air conditioning, listen!
Neighborhood News 12 Cablevision Systems, Long Island
NN12 is a localized drop in service for a bunch of towns on Long Island. I have never been able to see NN12, but I have been informed that it is really bad. I was told that "NN12 makes WLNY look like CNN". Apparently NN12 uses consumer grade equipment and out of town reporters to cover extreme local markets. Good thing I never saw it.