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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Sept. 22-24) -- Pack-Bengals top weekend charts

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Absent a Dallas Cowboys game, Sunday’s D-FW ratings pacesetter turned out to be CBS’ featured late afternoon/early evening game between the Green Bay Packers (who won in overtime) and visiting Cincinnati Bengals.

Broadcast booth rookie Tony Romo’s continued spot-on analysis was an added lure, with the game attracting 508,977 viewers and 211,689 in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 age range.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup, with the Washington Redskins dominating the visiting Oakland Raiders, finished close behind with 465,350 total viewers while tying Packers-Bengals with 211,689 viewers in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Sunday also brought the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, which was delayed to 7:48 p.m. because of the football over-run. The lone free episode, on the CBS broadcast network, averaged 261,760 total viewers, but just 51,314 in the key 18-to-49 demographic. Discovery otherwise will be seen only on the network’s pay-per-month streaming site, CBS All Access.

On Saturday, TCU’s decisive road win against favored Oklahoma State easily topped the college football parade with 269,031 total viewers on ESPN. The runner-up attraction, Fox’s prime-time Notre Dame-Michigan State clash, placed second with 109,067 viewers while ABC’s competing thriller, Penn State’s last-second win over Iowa, surprisingly averaged just 72,711 viewers.

Friday’s prime-time pacesetter, NBC’s Dateline, had 130,880 total viewers and 41,692 in the 18-to-49 demographic. The competing, Austin-based Harvey Can[’t Mess With Texas relief special (from 9 to 10 p.m. on TEGNA8) drew 109,067 total viewers and 25,657 in the 18-to-49 age range. Participating celebrities included James Taylor, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt and Willie Nelson.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 led in total viewers at 10 p.m. while TEGNA8 drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions while the Peacock controlled the early evening with twin wins at both 5 and 6 p.m.

LOCAL TV PROGRAMMING NOTE: TEGNA8 has the over-the air simulcast of the Cowboys-Arizona Cardinals Monday Night Football game on ESPN. That will waylay the scheduled Monday, Sept. 25th premiere of ABC’s new The Good Doctor, which TEGNA8 will send to 7 p.m. Tuesday. As for Dancing with the Stars, it’s moving to the station’s 8.2 digital channel for a one-night stand. Good luck with that.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

New word-mashing "We Are WFAA" image promo gives the station a uniquely over the top shout out

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
It’s not quite Yoda talk. As in, “Hard to find, independent local TV criticism can be.”

But Dallas-based TEGNA8’s brassy new “We Are WFAA” image spot finds a few ways to mash up the language, courtesy of a very big-voiced narrator who makes James Earl Jones seem like a funeral director. “COURAGE GATHERERS,” he booms. “RESOLVE STEELERS. RISK TAKERS AND UP SHAKERS.”

All of these attributes (and many more) are affixed in big bold letters to a parade of TEGNA8 news personalities in the station’s sax-backed, “urban”-centric one-minute promo. Anchor dean John McCaa is pictured as the Resolve Steeler while head weathercaster Pete Delkus gets to be the Up Shaker.

It’s without a doubt an attention-getter, which is much of the battle. The campaign also is light years removed from the station’s gone but not entirely forgotten “Spirit of Texas” mantra, which stayed in place for decades until new owner TEGNA sent homespun packing.

“We are not here for small talk or small steps,” the “We Are WFAA” promo booms at the start. “We exist because people depend on us. And what they need from us is for us to become our best selves everyday.”

Closeups of McCaa, Cynthia “Izzy’ Izaguirre and Daybreak anchor Ron Corning are shown in the opening seconds before his early morning colleague, Alexa Conomos, is shown happily waving.

(Some viewers might wonder if Conomos is waving hello -- or goodbye. Way back in January of this year, Conomos informed station management that she’d be leaving to spend more time with her family and enjoy a more “normal” lifestyle. Conomos agreed to stay on until her replacement was named, which presumably would be by the end of the May “sweeps” ratings period. But the latest word is that Conomos has been persuaded to stay with Daybreak all the way until the end of this year. In the annals of long goodbyes, that’s a D-FW television record that might be harder to break than Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.)

But we tarry. Back to the “We Are WFAA” spot, which reaches a crescendo of sorts when the narrator lets loose with a big chuckle before exclaiming “Laugh Makers!” The accompanying video is of sports anchor Dale Hansen cutting loose with former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk.

The station’s anchors and reporters also are variously depicted as “HOPE SELLERS. CHEER SPREADERS. CON BUSTERS. POWER SHIFTERS. SCALE BALANCERS,” etc.

“We do all this because we can’t not do it,” viewers are told in closing. “And if we’re working for all alike, we must be brave. EVERYDAY.”

The final shot is of McCaa and Izaguirre walking toward another day’s news battleground.

TEGNA’s corporate brain trust has made this much clear: They’re determined to significantly it not radically change their owned stations’ approaches to how news is presented and marketed. The “We Are WFAA” campaign, which is grandiose while also being wholly unlike any other in D-FW, is further proof that TEGNA really means this.

Whether you’re turned off or tuned in is yet to be seen. But for the purpose of these spaces, it can be a damned lot of fun to write about, even if station management might well say in turn, “To hell Uncle Barky can go.”

Here’s the full one-minute spot:



Email comments or questions to: unclebarky.com

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Thurs., Sept. 20-21) -- America's Got Talent outdraws Big Brother in battle of summertime titans

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Let’s roll back to Wednesday first because Thursday wasn’t much in terms of ratings punch.

The two-hour season finales of NBC’s America’s Got Talent and CBS’ Big Brother went toe to toe from 7 to 9 p.m., with AGT emerging victorious.

NBC’s biggest summertime attraction drew 319,928 D-FW viewers and 89,799 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range. CBS’ hot weather pacesetter ran a distant second in total viewers (189,049) and in fact was beaten from 8 to 9 p.m. by Fox’s Masterchef season-ender (196,320 viewers). In the key 18-to-49 demographic, Big Brother drew much closer to AGT with 80,178 viewers while also whipping Masterchef (67,349).

NBC’s one-hour Season Two launch of The Good Place then faltered at 9 p.m. with 145,422 viewers and 51,314 in the 18-to-49 motherlode. The 9 p.m. winner, Fox4’s local news, had 189,049 total viewers and 54,521 within the 18-to-49 age range.

On Thursday, CBS’ 7 p.m. rerun of The Big Bang Theory led all prime-time attractions with 174,506 total viewers. In the 18-to-49 measurement, the NFL Network’s unexpectedly high-scoring Thursday Night Football matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers took the top spot with a relatively puny 54,521 viewers. That was well less than half the game’s average of 152,693 total viewers.

Here are the local news derby results.

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

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. wins went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Thursday -- Fox4 and TEGNA8 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but Fox4 won easily with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 again ran the table at 6 a.m. and NBC5 repeated its 5 p.m. sweep. The Peacock and TEGNA8 shared the 6 p.m. lead in total viewers while NBC5 won outright with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Sept. 19) -- AGT in control

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The latest season’s final “performance” show put NBC’s America’s Got Talent firmly in charge of Tuesday’s prime-time Nielsens.

Airing from 7 to 9 p.m., AGT drew 254,489 D-FW viewers while also ranking as the night’s biggest attraction among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds (70,556).

Fox4’s local newscast, which is finishing off a very strong summer, then took over by comfortably winning at 9 p.m. in both total viewers (181,778) and with 18-to-49-year-olds (48,107).

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

TEGNA8 made its strongest across-the-board showing in a good long while, winning at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in total viewers and among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again ran the table at 6 a.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Sept. 18) -- DWTS edges MNF as top draw; former CBS11 meteorologist Lisa Villegas finds a new home

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The 25th(!) edition of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (or non-stars if you prefer) premiered Monday night with just enough juice to edge ESPN’s Detroit Lions-New York Giants game as prime-time’s overall top draw.

DWTS drew 283,573 D-FW viewers while Monday Night Football came up just shy of a first down with an average of 276,302 viewers. During their 90 minutes opposite one another (7:30 to 9 p.m.), they tied with 290,844 viewers each before football wilted a bit down the stretch to dent the full-game rating.

As usual, though, MNF easily won the night with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, averaging 118,663. DWTS drew well less than half that crowd (51,314) in also running behind NBC’s competing two-hour American Ninja Warrior (67,349).

Excluding football, the 9 p.m. slot went to Fox4’s local newscast in both total viewers (159,964) and 18-to-49-year-olds (48,107).

Here are Monday’s local news derby results.

Fox4 and TEGNA8 tied for first in total viewers at 10 p.m., but Fox4 had the top spot to itself among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. competitions. At 6 p.m., NBC5 and TEGNA8 shared the lead in total viewers while the Peacock won outright with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The 5 p.m. golds went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and NBC5 in the 25-to-54 measurement.

LOCAL TV NEWS NOTE: Former CBS11 weekend and fill-in meteorologist Lisa Villegas will be mapping out a new future at Tucson, Arizona’s KOLD-TV, the market’s CBS affiliate. Her start date is Oct. 9th. The news was first reported by the national industry trade site FTVLive, which obtained an internal memo from station management.

As previously reported on unclebarky.com, Villegas was let go by CBS11 in March of this year.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net