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NBC5 wins national Edward R. Murrow award for "Overall Excellence;" Tribune's Dallas-originated Eye Opener giving way to new waker-upper


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Fort Worth-based NBC5 is celebrating a treasure trove of four national Edward R. Murrow awards, including the top one for “Overall Station Excellence” in the large market competition.

A companion publicity release says that NBC5 is the only station to receive a quartet of the prestigious awards, which are run by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Besides the trophy for overall excellence, NBC5 won for its Breaking News Coverage of the July 7th, 2016 police ambush in downtown Dallas; reporter Scott Friedman’s investigative series “Big Buses, Bigger Problems;” and for the sound accompanying a feature story on the Mariachi Sol Azteca band.

In a prepared statement, NBC5 president and general manager Tom Ehlmann praised the station’s journalists for “their commitment to informing and uncovering stories that may impact the communities we serve.”

Vice President of News Mark Ginther said that station is “set apart” from its competitors by a ”relentless pursuit of the truth and an unwavering desire to tell stories that make a difference to our North Texas audience.”

Dallas-based TEGNA8 also won a Murrow for its entire newscast coverage of the police ambush.


Morning Dose hosts Melissa Rycroft, Brandon London, Laila Muhammad. The show launches on June 29th. Tribune photo

Tribune Broadcasting has scrapped the Dallas-originated Eye Opener after a five year-seven-month run and will be supplanting it on June 29th with Morning Dose.

The show likewise will originate from CW33’s Dallas studios, where a new set is being built. Eye Opener holdover Laila Muhammad is joining new co-hosts Melissa Rycroft and Brandon London. A Tribune news release bills Morning Dose as a “first of its kind, live social ‘wake-up’ Show” in partnership with the Dose media agency. The show will air from 5 to 8 a.m. weekdays, as did Eye Opener.

Rycroft, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, gained national fame as a prominent and eventually jilted contestant on ABC’s The Bachelor and as the champion of a 2012 “All-Star” edition of the network’s Dancing with the Stars. She’s also hosted ABC’s Bachelor Pad and CMT’s Redneck Island while serving as a contributor to the syndicated Access Hollywood and ABC’s Good Morning America.

London is a former NFL football player and got a Super Bowl championship ring as a member of the New York Giants’ 2007-2008 practice squad.

Oliver Tull, who had been Eye Opener’s longest standing co-host, and Neeha Curtis, are both being dropped. But Tribune-produced infotainment shows have doubled as revolving doors, so neither should be entirely written off.

For now, though, “it’s been a great run, guys,” Curtis says on her Twitter feed. “Special shoutout to our EO viewers . . . you’ve made waking up at 1 a.m. worth it.”

Tull tweeted, “It was a pleasure. Now, I’m gonna try to make up for 5 years of no sleep.”

Eye Opener had its Dallas launch on Nov. 1st, 2011 after originating in Chicago. The show’s initial hosts were Douglas Caballero, Ellen Fox and Sean Dowling, with Toni Duclottni, Laura Thomas and Tommy Noel as featured contributors.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., June 22) -- draft dodging

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ESPN’s marathon coverage of the NBA draft, which ran from 6:40 to 11:22 p.m., ended up as an air ball in the D-FW Nielsen ratings.

Overall, the draft averaged just 58,169 viewers and dribbled off to 7,271 for the closing minutes. The audience peaked between 7:30 and 7:45 p.m., with 87,253 viewers on hand for the segment that included the Dallas Mavericks’ pick of point guard Dennis Smith, Jr. at 7:33 p.m.

Advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds also tuned out, with the draft averaging a lowly 22,450 viewers in this key demographic and 35,278 for the Mavs’ pick.

In contrast, CBS’ 7 p.m. rerun of The Big Bang Theory hit Thursday night’s high point in total viewers with 210,862. It also led among 18-to-49-year-olds (44,899).

ABC and NBC went head-to-head from 7 to 10 p.m. with the debuts of their summertime Thursday lineups.

The Peacock’s trio of returnees led across the board in total viewers. Hollywood Game Night had 101,795, followed by The Wall (116,338) and The Night Shift (101,795).

Hollywood Game Night also won among 18-to-49-year-olds, but CBS’ repeat of Mom ran first from 8 to 8:30 p.m. before the second half of The Wall edged CBS’ Life In Pieces reprise for the top spot.

Then came ABC’s new version of The Gong Show, which outdrew both CBS and NBC in the 18-to-49 range but was beaten by Fox4’s competing 9 p.m. local newscast.

The Gong Show dug out of a huge hole left by ABC’s two-hour debut of the “reality competition” series Boy Band, which mega-bombed from 7 to 9 p.m. with 36,356 total viewers and 16,036 in the 18-to-49 realm. Gong Show trampolined to 94,524 total viewers and 38,485 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 touted its 10 p.m. news during The Gong Show with a classic lowest common denominator tease by co-anchor Cynthia Izaguirre.
She promised “wild video” of car crashes, a developing story on a killer bees attack and a “police chase you’ve got to see” involving a crazed 81-year-old grandma. “You don’t want to miss News 8 at tonight,” Izzy warned.

Well, it sort of worked -- but not like clockwork. TEGNA8 and CBS11 tied for the 10 p.m. lead in total viewers, but Fox4 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) while TEGNA8 slipped to second.

Fox4 drew the most total viewers at 6 a.m., but NBC5 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds.

TEGNA8 and NBC5 shared the 6 p.m. spoils, with the ABC station drawing the most total viewers and NBC5 the choice among 25-to-54-year-olds.

At 5 p.m., the Peacock and TEGNA8 tied for the most total viewers, but NBC5 comfortably won with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Wed., June 19-21) -- Litte Big Shots: Forever Young & Masterchef top an under-cooked Wednesday

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NBC’s 7 p.m. premiere of Little Big Shots: Forever Young, in which ancient mariners stand on their heads and stuff, led a sluggish prime-time Wednesday in total D-FW viewers.

LBS:FY lured 145,422 viewers to edge Fox Sports Southwest’s Texas Rangers-Toronto Blue Jays game (123,609). Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, Fox’s Masterchef led with just 35,278 viewers.

The ratings returns were much stronger Tuesday night, with NBC again on top in both key measurements with its “reality competition” combo of America’s Got Talent and World of Dance.

AGT amassed 261,760 total viewers and 102,627 in the 18-to-49 age range before World of Dance mopped up with respective totals of 167,235 and 76,970 viewers.

Monday’s prime-time parade was topped by ABC’s two-hour edition of The Bachelorette, which had 167,235 total viewers and 67,349 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Here are the Monday-Wednesday local news derby results.

Monday -- TEGNA8 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) while Fox4 did likewise at 6 a.m.

NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for first at 6 p.m. in total viewers, but the Peacock was alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds. At 5 p.m., the golds went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Tuesday -- TEGNA8 again swept the 10 p.m. competitions, as did Fox4 at 6 a.m.

NBC5 led in total viewers at 5 and 6 p.m. while Fox4 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds at both hours.

Wednesday -- TEGNA8 stayed hot at 10 p.m. with another sweep while also tying Fox4 for the total viewers lead at 6 a.m. Fox4, NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the 6 a.m. gold among 25-to-54-year-olds.

TEGNA8 capped off a big day with a 6 p.m. win in total viewers and Fox4 led with 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 joined the party with twin wins at 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs.-Sun., June 15-18) -- double dose of downturns for Megyn Kelly/NBC

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NBC News and Megyn Kelly learned the hard way Sunday night. Their up-close look at hate-mongering lunatic Alex Jones turned off both major advertisers and D-FW viewers.

The network’s 6 p.m. edition of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, with the first extended segment devoted to Jones, took a pounding from the final full hour of Fox’s U.S. Open golf coverage and CBS’ competing 60 Minutes repeat. Worse yet, major advertisers bailed, leaving Megyn Kelly with a mix of Ad Council-approved public service spots, promos for NBC shows and fire rate-seeking minor league sponsors. In other words, even strong ratings wouldn’t have mattered because the advertising wasn’t enough to pay NBC’s bills, including the anchor’s mega-salary for jumping from Fox News Channel.

The U.S. Open, which ended at 7:13 p.m. with a decisive 4-stroke win by Brooks Koepka, drew 218,133 viewers for Fox’s final full hour of coverage from 6 to 7 p.m. 60 Minutes and its collection of previously aired stories had 123,609 viewers while Megyn Kelly clocked in with 65,440. The first 15 minutes of her show did make a stronger showing than the rest of the program, with 87,253 viewers before the final quarter-hour tailed off to 50,898.

Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, the U.S. Open easily led from 6 to 7 p.m. with 76,970 viewers while the 60 Minutes rerun had a slight edge over Megyn Kelly -- 15,073 to 14,432.

Friday’s top prime-time performer, CBS’ 8 p.m. rerun of Hawaii Five-0, pulled in 133,788 total viewers while NBC’s two-hour reprise of America’s Got Talent was tops with 18-to-49-year-olds (40,409).

On Thursday, the prime-time parade was led by CBS’ The Big Bang Theory rerun in both total viewers (189,049) and 18-to-49-year-olds (43,937). ABC’s 9 p.m. hour of The $100,000 Pyramid ran just a wisp behind Big Bang with 43,296 viewers in the key 18-to-49 age range.

Here are the Thursday and Friday local news derby results.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 won in total viewers at 10 p.m., but Fox4 drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 and NBC5 tied for first place at 6 a.m. in total viewers while Fox4 had the 25-to-54 gold to itself.

The Peacock swept the 5 p.m. competitions and added a 6 p.m. win in total viewers. TEGNA8 had the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 6 p.m. Fox4’s 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts were rubbed out by the Fox network’s U.S. Open coverage.

Friday -- NBC5 prospered with sweeps at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Fox4 remained in charge at 6 a.m. with twin wins. The latter station’s 5 and 6 p.m. editions again were blotted out by golf.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., June 14) -- Little Big Shots, Masterchef top a blah night

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On a night heavily devoted to reruns, new episodes of NBC’s Little Big Shots and Fox’s Masterchef topped the two major ratings food groups with smallish audiences.

Wednesday’s 7 p.m. hour of LBS drew 189,049 total D-FW viewers to lead in that measurement while Masterchief pulled in a prime-time high of 35,278 viewers in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old age range.

CBS11’s 6:30 p.m. edition of the syndicated Wheel of Fortune had far more total viewers (232,675) than any prime-time entry.

So let’s just get to the local news derby results.

Fox4 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but Fox4 was alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions. At 6 p.m., CBS11 ran first with total viewers while Fox4 and NBC5 tied for No. 1 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The 5 p.m. golds went to NBC5 in total viewers and TEGNA8 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net