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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Aug. 26-28) -- Rangers finally get a clear path

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Absent direct competition from a Dallas Cowboys pre-season game or the Summer Olympics, the first-place Texas Rangers at last got a clear field over the weekend in terms of marquee sports programming.

Still, the D-FW ratings weren’t that great, particularly for a Friday night 12-1 drubbing by the visiting Cleveland Indians.

Airing on Fox Sports Southwest, the game averaged just 99,154 viewers. NBC’s two-hour America’s Got Talent repeat, followed by the network’s Dateline, led all prime-time attractions with 113,318 viewers each. And Fox4’s local 9 p.m. newscasts and CBS’ Cleveland Browns-Tampa Bay Bucs pre-season game matched the Rangers’ average of 99,154 viewers.

Things went much better on Saturday, when the Rangers’ 7-0 rout of Cleveland on FSS led all programming throughout the day and night with 177,060 viewers.

Sunday afternoon’s 2-1 Rangers home win, again on FSS, had 162,895 viewers. Oddly, that fell short of Fox’s competing Houston Texans-Arizona Cardinals exhibition game, which drew 184,142 viewers. NBC’s prime-time fake game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars likewise pulled in 184,142 viewers to surpass the Rangers while CBS’ 7 p.m. hour of Big Brother equaled the North Texas Nine’s total of 162,895 viewers.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results:

NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but the Peacock led with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) while TEGNA8 fell to fourth.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. golds went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Aug. 25) -- The Cowboys, of course

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Dallas Cowboys’ pre-season “dress rehearsal” game -- although Tony Romo was out of costume after just three plays with a back strain -- expectedly dominated Thursday’s D-FW ratings.

Despite a late 9 p.m. start at Seattle, Cowboys-Seahawks averaged 602,004 viewers on CBS11, with 276,286 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old age range.

The first-place Texas Rangers’ 9-0 home win against the Cleveland Indians ranked third for the night with 169,978 total viewers on Fox Sports Southwest. CBS11’s 8 p.m. Countdown to Kickoff show had 219,554 viewers.

NBC’s competing Falcons-Dolphins pre-season game had no chance, drawing 120,401 viewers.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby numbers.

In a downsized three-way 10 p.m. race, TEGNA8 had the most total viewers while NBC5 won among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 ran first at 6 a.m. in total viewers, but the Peacock again prevailed with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 continued to prosper at 5 and 6 p.m., running the table in both competitions.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Reporter Philip Townsend leaving TEGNA8 after short stay

Philip-Townsend-WFAA-Headshot_1454111219656_137522_ver1.0

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Year of the Exodus continues, with TEGNA8 reporter Philip Townsend the latest to exit the D-FW market.

Townsend, who joined the Dallas-based station in December, 2014, is going back to the station he left -- Norfolk, VA’s ABC affiliate, WVEC-TV.

“He will return as their new weekend anchor!” TEGNA8 news director Carolyn Mungo said in a memo to staffers obtained by unclebarky.com.

His last day at TEGNA8 will be on Sept. 30th, Mungo said. “We wish him the very best.”

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Mike Garber out as CBS11 news director after rocky two-year tenure marked by major personnel changes/declining ratings

mike-garber

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Mike Garber is out as CBS11 news director after a two-year stay marked by numerous major personnel changes and departures, plus declining ratings.

Informed sources tell unclebarky.com that Garber has resigned, with some staffers told first-hand of his departure Thursday morning. Director of communications Lori Conrad later confirmed Garber’s resignation, saying he “has left to pursue other opportunities, and we wish him well.” Conrad said that assistant news director Laurie Passman will be CBS11’s interim news director.

Garber joined CBS11 in July of 2014 from WPTV/WFLX-TV in West Palm, Beach, FL, where he had been news director for two years. He replaced Adrienne Roark, who is now general manager at Fox affiliate KPTV-TV in Portland, Oregon after a four-year stay as CBS11’s news director.

Under Garber’s watch, longtime 6 and 10 p.m. weekday anchor Karen Borta was transferred to CBS11’s early morning newscasts (replacing Adrienne Bankert) while sports anchor Babe Laufenberg and chief meteorologist Larry Mowry both abruptly left the station after lengthy tenures. Garber’s replacement for Laufenberg, Keith Russell, was recently sent to weekends while veteran utility man Bill Jones took over the featured 6 and 10 p.m. weeknight sports anchor duties on a likely interim basis.

The early morning ratings initially perked up with the team of Borta, co-anchor Jason Allen, meteorologist Scott Padgett and traffic anchor Tammy Dombeck, who had been substituting for Whitney Drolen after she resigned early in Garber’s tenure. But CBS11’s first-ever third-place finish in the 6 a.m. ratings among key 25-to-54-year-old viewers (during the May 2015 “sweeps”) did not deter Garber from breaking up this team by hiring Chelsey Davis as traffic anchor and Russ McCaskey in place of Allen, who went back to the reporting pool. Ratings then plummeted.

In the May 2016 sweeps, CBS11 was the only station without any wins at 6 a.m. or 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in either total viewers or 25-to-54-year-olds (the main advertiser target audience for news programming).

CBS11 finished a distant last across the board among 25-to-54-year-olds and on the bottom in total viewers everywhere except 10 p.m., where it edged Fox4 for third place.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues.-Wed., Aug. 23-24) -- NBC/Fox flex in prime-time

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC punched out all of its prime-time competitors on Tuesday before Fox and Fox4 joined in some of the fun on Wednesday night.

Helped by a dominating lead-in from America’s Got Talent, the Peacock’s 9 p.m. Tuesday premiere of Better Late Than Never won its 9 p.m. slot with 205,390 D-FW viewers and 60,338 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old age range. The series features William Shatner, Henry Winkler, George Foreman and Terry Bradshaw clumsily traipsing together through Asia while trying not to be Ryan Lochtes.

AGT easily won Tuesday’s 7 to 9 p.m. ratings battle with 290,378 total viewers and 92,095 in the 18-to-49 realm.

On Wednesday, CBS’ Big Brother drew the most total viewers in the 7 p.m. hour with 148,730. Fox’s competing Masterchef had a slight edge among 18-to-49-year-olds (66,690).

NBC’s AGT beat a second hour of Masterchef in total viewers at 8 p.m., but Gordon Ramsay’s volatile kitchen competition won with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then drew Wednesday’s biggest prime-time audiences with 219,554 total viewers and 98,447 in the key 18-to-49 demographic. On Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers’ 6-5 win at Cincinnati averaged 134,566 total viewers and 25,406 in the 18-to-49 motherlode. It won’t get any easier Thursday night, with the Rangers partially going against the Dallas Cowboys’ pre-season “dress rehearsal” game at Seattle. But ratings then should perk up during a 10-game home stand.

Here are the Tuesday and Wednesday local news derby results.

Tuesday -- NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but the Peacock was alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions while NBC5 did likewise at both 5 and 6 p.m.

Wednesday -- NBC5 ran the table at 10 p.m. and Fox4 again had twin wins at 6 a.m.

The Peacock also drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 and 6 p.m. The total viewers spoils went to Fox4 at 5 p.m. and CBS11 at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net