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ABC21 announces expansion, launch of 7 p.m. newscast

Chief Meteorologist Matt Leach and anchors Tom Powell and Brien McElhatten will lead coverage...
Chief Meteorologist Matt Leach and anchors Tom Powell and Brien McElhatten will lead coverage in ABC21's 7 p.m. newscast, debuting in February.(WPTA)
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:38 AM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. – WPTA’s ABC21 television channel will introduce a 7 p.m. newscast in February, providing the region with a new option for live, local news and weather coverage.

The latest expansion of the station’s news operation will feature anchors Brien McElhatten and Tom Powell and Chief Meteorologist Matt Leach and draws on the resources of the region’s most honored news team.

The 7 p.m. broadcast will feature a comprehensive digest of the day’s biggest stories, late- breaking developments from the local community and beyond and Leach’s weather forecast, all in the first five minutes. The program will embrace ABC21′s “Digging Deeper” commitment by expanding each evening on a subject of particular importance – involving health matters, the economy, politics, crime and justice issues and more.

“We know that there are thousands of people in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio who aren’t available at 5 or 6 p.m.,” WPTA Vice President and General Manager Merry Ewing said. “This is a newscast that will bring them the headlines, but much more – a newscast that will stand out in both content and tone.”

McElhatten is the longtime anchor of ABC21 News at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. and will continue in that role. Powell joins the ABC21 team after spending nearly six years as an anchor on another WPTA channel, “Fort Wayne’s NBC,” where he co-anchors the evening and late newscasts.

WPTA is part of Gray Television, the largest owner of top-rated local television stations and digital assets in the United States. Gray also owns video program production, marketing, and digital businesses including Raycom Sports, Tupelo Honey, and RTM Studios, the producer of PowerNation programs and content. Gray is also the majority owner of Swirl Films.

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