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Gannett8 weathercaster Pete Delkus: test-driving the earnest approach

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Earlier this week we posted CBS11’s catchy new, country-themed “Gotta Listen to Larry” promo on behalf of head weatherman Larry Mowry.

Rival Gannett8 is countering with a series of fresh spots. Its top temperature-taker, Pete Delkus, has shifted gears and is accentuating how important it is for him to be a seriously reliable port in the storm when the weather hits the fan.

“The trust that I have with our team is exceptional,” he says in one of the ads. “I know they have my back. I know I have theirs.”

It’s something of an image makeover for a guy who’s become perhaps equally known for trading jabs and guffaws with sports anchor Dale Hansen during Gannett8’s 6 and 10 p.m. weekday newscasts. The two also used to be a comedy team in a promo modeled after the ABC series Boston Legal.

Perhaps the station is sensing that many viewers have had enough of this. In another of the new spots, Delkus says he likes to have fun with Hansen but “my demeanor really changes on a severe weather day.” He also assures viewers that he’s “not Saint Delkus” -- as he’s proclaimed on Twitter -- but “just your weather guy.”

Weather is the straw that stirs the drink on all four of D-FW’s major TV news providers. That’s the case whether it’s tinkles from the sky in Palo Pinto county or a bonafide severe weather “event” for the entire viewing area.

The new Delkus spots are effective in a vacuum. But can the station have it both ways? At the moment, the latest image campaign basically says, “Hey, I’m really not the court jester I often play on TV. When push comes to cold front, I’m a trusty nuts-and-bolts weather wonk.”

Here are two of the new ads.






Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., April 22-23) -- sweeps start early, three stations split opening night spoils

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The four-week May “sweeps,” last big ratings period of the 2014-15 TV season, include a sizable chunk of April this time out.

They began on Thursday, April 23rd, with CBS expectedly getting off the mark first with a new episode of The Big Bang Theory. The juggernaut sitcom ranked No. 1 in prime-time in both total D-FW viewers (460,284) and advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds (163,998).

ABC’s second half-hour of Grey’s Anatomy then won from 7:30 to 8 p.m. with 299,882 total viewers and 129,306 in the 18-to-49 range.

CBS broke back through in total viewers with its 8 p.m. episode of Mom (223,168). But ABC’s Scandal ran first from 8:30 to 9 p.m. in that measurement (202,246 total viewers) while ruling its entire hour among 18-to-49-year-olds (78,845).

Then along came Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast, which opened the sweeps with a doubleheader win -- 188,292 total viewers and 69,384 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Sweeps eve Wednesday belonged entirely to Fox/Fox4 in the total viewer realm. Fox’s two-hour American Idol ruled from 7 to 9 p.m. with 285,934 viewers before Fox4’s newscast drew a time slot-winning 271,986.

The news likewise topped the 18-to-49-year-old demographic with 85,153 viewers. But the 7 to 9 p.m. hours were a free-for-all, with CBS’ Survivor taking the first half-hour (100,922); Idol regrouping to win from 7:30 to 8 p.m. with the same total; ABC’s Modern Family taking the 8 p.m. top spot (129,306); and CBS’ Criminal Minds winning from 8:30 to 9 p.m. (91,460).

Here the four-way local news derby results.

Wednesday -- The 10 p.m. sweeps eve races were won by Gannett8 in total viewers and NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 ran the table as usual at 6 a.m. while the Peacock swept the 5 p.m. competitions. Gannett8 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 6 p.m., but Fox4 was alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Thursday -- Since this was the first day of the May “sweeps,” let’s do a complete breakdown of where they stand out of the starting gates.

10 P.M.

Total Viewers
Gannett8 -- 195,272
NBC5 -- 166,679
CBS11 -- 152,731
Fox4 -- 141,572

25-to-54-Year-Olds
Fox4 -- 72,011
NBC5 -- 67,862
Gannett8 -- 62,528
CBS11 -- 27,263

6 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 108,097
NBC5 -- 76,714
Gannett8 -- 65,556
CBS11 -- 48,121

25-to-54-Year-Olds
Fox4 -- 58,379
NBC5 -- 33,486
Gannett8 -- 22,818
CBS11 -- 17,780

6 P.M.

Total Viewers
Gannett8 -- 152,033
CBS11 -- 135,993
NBC5 -- 110,189
Fox4 -- 93,452

25-to-54-Year-Olds
Fox4 -- 55,712
Gannett8 -- 54,230
NBC5 -- 42,673
CBS11 -- 21,929

5 P.M.

Total Viewers
Gannett8 -- 145,059
NBC5 -- 131,111
Fox4 -- 106,005
CBS11 -- 86,478

25-to-54-Year-Olds
NBC5 -- 45,993
Fox4 -- 42,080
Gannett8 -- 39,413
CBS11 -- 9,779

A lot could change between now and the May 20th closing day. Place your bets.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., April 21) -- TNT outdraws TXA21 for Game 2 of Mavs train wreck

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Pounded again in Houston, the Dallas Mavericks’ second playoff game of the season still drew far more interest than point guard Rajon Rondo showed.

Airing from 8:43 to 11:25 p.m. on TNT and TXA21, the national telecast again had bigger crowds than the homegrown version.

TNT averaged 188,298 D-FW viewers and 113,537 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. TXA21 notched respective totals of 153,428 and 91,460 viewers.

The combined numbers -- 341,726 total viewers and 204,997 in the 18-to-49 age range -- were not enough to beat the top-ranked prime-time broadcast network attraction in the total viewers measurement. That would be NBC’s 7 p.m. edition of The Voice, which had 369,622 viewers. But The Voice fell far short of Mavs-Rockets in the key 18-to-49 demographic, pulling in 100,922 viewers. That’s less than half the two-network total for hoops.

CBS’ CSI: Cyber, in its first test drive on Tuesdays at 9 p.m., ran first among the Big Four broadcast networks with 230,142 total viewers. But Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast was tops among 18-to-49-year-olds with 66,230.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results, with the May “sweeps” ratings period firing up on Thursday, April 23rd.

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 reigned with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. firsts went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., April 20) -- The Voice sags but still sets pace

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Another two-hour hunk of NBC’s The Voice paced Monday’s prime-time ratings without dominating them.

Airing as usual from 7 to 9 p.m., The Voice averaged 341,726 D-FW viewers while ABC’s competing Dancing with the Stars drew 285,934. From 7:30 to 8 p.m., CBS’ Mike & Molly outdrew DWTS with 299,882 viewers and ran close behind that half-hour segment of The Voice (320,804 viewers).

Mike & Molly won its time slot among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds; The Voice ran first from 7 to 7:30 p.m. and 8 to 9 p.m.

CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles took the 9 p.m. hour in both ratings measurements with respective totals of 223,168 and 72,537 viewers.

Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of The Following was the night’s least-watched show among the Big Four broadcast networks with 76,714 total viewers. The low-rung prime-time finisher with 18-to-49-year-olds was Fox4’s local 9 p.m. newscast (31,538 viewers).

Here are Monday’s four-way local news derby results.

Gannett8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while NBC ran first among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and added a 6 p.m. win in the 25-to-54 measurement. CBS11 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m.

NBC5 and Gannett8 tied for first place at 5 p.m. in both ratings realms.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

New Larry Mowry promo a nice howdy do

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
It’s all about selling the goods and making the talent seem relatable to me and you and a boy named Sue.

CBS11 makes that sale with its new country music-themed spot for chief meteorologist Larry Mowry. Not coincidentally, it debuted on the Friday before the April 19th Academy of Country Music awards ceremony at Jerry’s Palace.

A baritone-voiced twanger accompanied by a giddy up and go drum/guitar combo touts the still boyish-faced Mowry as “the weather expert for all the Lone Star State.” Therefore, “you’ve gotta listen to Larry. You know he’ll get it right.”

For his part, beaming Larry looks like the kind of guy you’d totally trust with a whole fleet of spankin’ new pickup trucks, your first-born daughter and a signed first edition of Lonesome Dove.

That’s his real-life oldest daughter, straightening his tie in the opening shot before he high-fives her. Mowry also can be seen doing a brief steering wheel drum solo; nuzzling a dog; shaking a hand; happily submitting to the inevitable selfie shot with a contented commoner; and huddling in the CBS11 weather center with colleague Jeff Jamison. That’s the one time he’s serious-faced.

Mowry has been with CBS11 since January 2008. That’s long enough to pitch him as a guy who thoroughly knows the territory. Here’s the best-of-show spot on his behalf. Its only cinematic blemish is a very briefly seen pink circle on the back of his head that makes Mowry look just a bit like a sunburned Trappist monk. Happy trails.



Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net