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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., June 25-27) -- net loss for U.S. soccer team but big gain for ABC

Saturday afternoon's U.S. loss to Ghana in a World Cup soccer elimination match easily drew the biggest D-FW crowds of the entire weekend.

Ghana's 2-1 overtime win, which put it among the tournament's final eight teams, stretched from 1:30 to 4 p.m. The game averaged 312,170 viewers, with a peak crowd of 413,964 in the closing 15 minutes.

More than half of the overall audience -- 166,342 -- consisted of advertiser-favored 18-to-49-year-olds. A total of 198,958 viewers in this age range watched the final 15 minutes.

ABC didn't fare as well Sunday night with the second episodes of its new 8 to 10 p.m. duo of Scoundrels and The Gates.

Scoundrels managed a second place finish in total viewers, with CBS' Daytime Emmy Awards nipping it for the top spot. But the newcomer slid to fourth place with 18-to-49-year-olds.

The Gates, with 88,222 total viewers, dipped a bit below Scoundrel's 95,008 to finish in a third place tie at 9 p.m. Fox4's local newscast won with 135,726 viewers, outdrawing the closing hour of the Emmys.

ABC's vampire drama moved up to second place with 18-to-49-year-olds, though. Fox4's news again led the way.

In Friday's Nielsens, Good Morning Texas' landing of Dallas-bred Jake Pavelka failed to move the ratings needle despite all the commotion over his recent breakup with Bachelor "fiancee" Vienna Girardi. Perhaps it didn't help that the show's incumbent co-host, Amy Vanderoef, barely asked Pavelka about it, instead opting to fawn over him.

GMT had 27,145 total viewers in the 9 a.m. hour. That put it in a third-place tie with CBS11's syndicated Rachael Ray behind the third hour of NBC's Today (101,795 viewers) and CW33's Jerry Springer (33,932 viewers).

Among 18-to-49-year-olds, the WFAA8-produced GMT dipped to a fourth place tie with Fox4's syndicated Regis & Kelly.

TXA21's prime-time Texas Rangers game of the week Friday, a home loss to the Houston Astros, averaged 156,085 total viewers to register as the night's biggest overall draw. Rangers-Astros also ran a close second among 18-to-49-year-olds from 8 to 10 p.m., with NBC's competing Dateline barely on top.

Friday's local news derby results yielded a split decision at 10 p.m., with WFAA8 winning in total viewers and NBC5 taking the gold among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

The Peacock also swept the 6 a.m. ratings, again outpointing runner-up Fox4 in both measurements.

CBS11 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers, but WFAA8 had the edge among 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 finished atop the 5 p.m. Nielsens in total viewers while NBC5 and WFAA8 shared first place in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Pavelka's Bachelor bustup barely in play on another gooey GMT


Pavelka as co-host on Friday's GMT: "I don't really want to get too much into it." Really? Then what's the point? Photo: Ed Bark

WFAA8's Good Morning Texas is known for having a creamy center. Still, what program in its right mind would give Dallas-bred Bachelor star Jake Pavelka a free pass Friday in times when his big bust-up with made-for-TV fiancee Vienna Girardi is currently the hottest gossip in the land?

Leave it to GMT, where Pavelka guest-hosted in the company of the homegrown program's incumbent Amy Vanderoef, who twice solicited and received high fives from him. They slapped hands the first time after she told him, "I think it's awesome that you're here."

Yeah, it was awesome, all right. Bleccch.

Pavelka otherwise hasn't been particularly shy about blabbing his side of the breakup to People, Extra and even TMZ. But he's apparently now saving the rest of it for an announced July 5th appearance with Girardi on ABC's The Bachelorette.

"Hopefully it's going to be some closure for me," Pavelka told Extra's Mario Lopez. "America stood there and stood with us at the birth of our relationship. And I think I owe it to them and to myself and Vienna to let everybody be there at the end of it. So everybody understands it was real."

Is this guy for real?

Vanderoef, determinedly vacuous, never brought up the Bachelorette appearance. Nor did she mention Girardi's sobbing accusations against Pavelka the previous day on two syndicated shows that WFAA8 proudly carries -- Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. Nor did she ask about his pointed accusations in the People cover story, headlined, "Why I Left Vienna -- "I Don't Trust Her"

No, that would have been asking too much.

"It's no secret that you've been through a lot lately," Vanderoef commiserated after welcoming Pavelka to a two-show guest host appearance that also will include Monday's GMT.

She soon added, "You've been going through a little bit of a tough time," before Pavelka interjected and said, "I don't really want to get too much into it, but I'm getting all of the tweets and all of the support from the fans and it's absolutely wonderful. You guys are going to get me through this, and thank you."

And by the way, Pavelka says he has no regrets about anything. People like him never do, and Vanderoef wasn't about to press matters.

She quickly began cooing about his post-Bachelor gig on Dancing With the Stars ("the yummy part," as she put it); his recently filmed guest shot on Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva; and his vintage appearance as a younger Chuck Norris on an old episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. It was akin to getting the head of BP and asking him what he likes for breakfast. Few have accused GMT of having an "edge." But geez, when something like this falls in your lap, you've gotta at least get in there and play a little offense.

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Pavelka later tried to be funny during a segment with a veteran comic who's appearing at the Addison Improv this weekend.

"Comedian Greg Girardo," he said. "Not to be confused with Girardi."

Yeah, except that his last name is GirALdo. GMT at least got it right in his printed on-screen ID.

Giraldo played along, but did throw a light jab by saying, "I understand there is some kind of gag order on Mr. Handsome over here." He then referred to Pavelka as "Perfect smile here," prompting perhaps the only bald truth of the day.

"I practice in the mirror, actually," Pavelka said. And you can pretty much bet he does.

Pavelka also interviewed the author of Porch Parties and introduced a pre-paid spot on dining room decorating. There's probably not much that ET, The Insider or anyone can do with that.

GMT will get one more crack at Pavelka on Monday's show. And you'd like to think that they'd be eager to have him spill just a little juice about, you know, the purported girl of his dreams who weepily said on Entertainment Tonight that Pavelka told her he might have won Dancing with the Stars had he "dumped her" in mid-show.

She also tells Star magazine that they hadn't "been intimate" in several months leading to the breakup and that Pavelka "kisses me only if we're on a red carpet or if cameras are there."

Well, what about that? Maybe WFAA8 should double-team Pavelka with its two star investigative reporters -- Brett Shipp and Byron Harris. Or perhaps Dale Hansen could return early from vacation and have a go at him.

This is hardly their beat, but at least they might make "Mr. Handsome" cough up some of the details he's been pretty happy to dish out elsewhere. That won't happen, though, if you don't even ask the questions. And on Friday's GMT, there definitely seemed to be no danger of that.

Public lewdness charge dropped against former WFAA8 anchor/reporter Brad Hawkins


A police charge of public lewdness against former WFAA8 anchor/reporter Brad Hawkins has been rejected by the district attorney's office, his attorney confirmed Friday.

"The case is over and he is not being prosecuted," attorney Peter Schulte said in a telephone interview Friday.

Hawkins, 37, had been arrested on the night of April 19th after allegedly making sexual advances toward an undercover police officer in a Dallas public park. The D.A.'s office reportedly threw out the case in early May, but Schulte said he had decided not to put out a public statement.

At the time of the charge, Schulte said, "We're going to fight the charges and we ask that everyone holds their opinion until all the facts are known. In this country, everyone is innocent until proven guilty."

Schulte said that Hawkins remains in his post-WFAA8 post as a media spokesman for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines. Hawkins worked at the station from January 2000 to December 2008, when he left to take the Southwest Airlines position.

Vintage video of Rowlett's declaration of independence at CBS 11 a sign of how much has changed in the decade since

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Tracy Rowlett's early days and last 10 p.m. newscast at CBS11.

Tracy Rowlett had spent a quarter-century at WFAA8 before vacating those premises in 1999 and heading to KTVT-TV, which had just been purchased by CBS.

It was a huge deal back then. And in the years since, we haven't seen anything close to the mega-move Rowlett made in times when well-paid major anchor talent could make even bigger money by switching stations in the same market.

The opposite is true today. No station is willing to dole out that kind of dough. On the contrary, long-running anchors such as NBC5's Mike Snyder are being cut loose after first taking a major pay cut while being demoted to lesser watched newscasts. As previously reported, Snyder's last day will be on July 1st. Other veteran anchors, including his longtime partner, Jane McGarry, can also feel the hot breath of the Grim Downsizer.

Rowlett made his official CBS11 debut at the start of the February 2000 ratings "sweeps" after being benched for several months by a non-compete clause. Meanwhile at WFAA8, he became a virtual non-person. So much so that an extensive pictorial history displayed in the ABC affiliate's lobby remains without any image or mention of him. Some WFAA8 staffers still only refer to him with an expletive in the mix.

In the below clip, newly posted on youtube, Rowlett's closing remarks on his inaugural CBS11 newscast are notable for mentioning a local TV competitor. That just isn't done today -- at least not in this market.

"I never thought I'd be at this station at this time doing what I used to do at another station for a very long time," he said before quickly adding, "I don't intend to rehash all that business about leaving Channel 8."

But in extolling the value of competition, Rowlett later took a none-too-veiled shot at both his ratings-dominating old employer and The Dallas Morning News.

"If one TV station assumed such a lofty position that it controls the news agenda, it's as dangerous as, say, just one newspaper in a big city," he told viewers.

CBS11 came close in a few sweeps periods, but never accomplished what Rowlett dearly wanted -- a No. 1 position in the marquee 10 p.m. competition. But the station finally won for the first time ever last November, with Rowlett's successor, Doug Dunbar, teaming with his holdover anchoring partner, Karen Borta. The station repeated as champ in the May sweeps, adding a win among advertiser-courted 25-to-54-year-olds to its first place finish in total viewers.

Rowlett left CBS11 in July of 2008 to become head anchor of Shale.TV, a then under-construction website being sponsored by Chesapeake Energy Corporation. That was another stunner, and he was sharply criticized by this writer for making such a move. Rowlett kept saying he'd been promised full editorial control in the venture. But Shale.TV never materialized, with Chesapeake citing a lousy economy and Rowlett later contending that the scrapping of the venture also may have been a belated aversion to that promised editorial independence. Chesapeake continues to insist that's not the case.

Rowlett lately has been teaching broadcast journalism courses at Southern Methodist University. He doesn't miss television news "as it is today," he says. And in truth, television news doesn't miss his salary either.

Still, it's hard to believe it's been nearly two years since Rowlett signed off at CBS11. And it's now more than a decade since he first signed on. With Snyder's forced "retirement" coming at the end of next week, here's a look at the impression and points Rowlett tried to make during that opening night voyage on CBS11. It hardly seems like old times any more. Instead it seems like ancient history.

WFAA8's GMT puts former Bachelor lover boy back in local spotlight

Dallas-bred Jake Pavelka, still on a high-profile rebound from his split-up with made-for-TV fiancee Vienna Girardi, will be guest-hosting both the Friday and Monday editions of WFAA8's Good Morning Texas, the station announced Wednesday.

Pavelka, 32 and a pilot by trade, segued from his starring role on last season's The Bachelor to Dancing with the Stars to a recently filmed guest shot on Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva series.

Girardi supposedly grew tired of his "fame whore" tendencies, although she hasn't exactly shied from the spotlight during their several months as a celebrity couple.

"She was watching these doors open for me, and it was causing an intense amount of jealousy," Pavelka says in the upcoming edition of People. He also accuses her of sleeping in while he was out pursuing new ways to capitalize on his Bachelor-fed fame.

Good Morning Texas airs at 9 a.m. weekdays on the Dallas-based ABC affiliate station.

Bachelor rose petals wilt for Dallas flyboy Jake and ex-fiancee Vienna


In pseudo happier times: Vienna Girardi and Jake Pavelka.

In yet another phony reality show love story gone awry, Dallas palooka Jake Pavelka and his bikini model fiancee, Vienna Girardi, have split after declaring their undying love for each other on ABC's The Bachelor.

Allegations that he's a "fame whore" and she's been two-timing him led the two posers to part ways Monday night.

She subsequently tweeted, "The accusations of me cheating are completely fabricated. 100% false."

Pavelka told TMZ on camera that "we're split. Kind of a long story, man . . . I'm just saddened by the whole thing. Sometimes love just isn't enough in a relationship."

Still, they'll "remain friends," he insisted, which you can take to the bank along with Tiger Woods' many earlier declarations that he's a happily married family man.

Pavelka, a pilot by trade, segued from The Bachelor to an immediate gig on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. After that came a just-completed guest shot on Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva series. Fame whore? Yeah, maybe, although Girardi at the same time was tweeting, "Hey everyone. I have been really busy . . . Started training for a bikini fitness competition. Getting my mind and body focused. Xoxo."

So gee, you mean they weren't really Romeo and Juliet after all? Naughty Bachelor for making their "love" seem so deep and everlasting.

Reality check: You could have bet your net worth that this one eventually would come up empty. Both Pavelka and Girardi spend way too much time staring at their individual images in a mirror to mesh as anything in the vicinity of a loving couple. Oddly enough they deserved each other, though, as the perfect imperfect couple for our narcissistic age.

Now comes the deluge of coverage on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra, etc. Let's see how long the both of them can milk their split-up.

Way they were: KDFW-TV's 1989 weekend news team

We occasionally enjoy bringing you old TV news spots from bygone eras -- and then telling you where the the featured players are now.

The below introduction to KDFW-TV's (Channel 4) weekend newscast is from 1989, when the team consisted of news anchor Barbara White, weathercaster Ron Jackson and sports anchor Paul Crane.

Crane is still in there punching as co-anchor of Louisiana-based CST Tonight.

White, who previously worked at WFAA8, runs Dallas-based Barbara White Boyd Media Strategies. She joins legions of former anchors and reporters advising people how to behave on TV.

And Jackson remains at KDFW after surviving the 1995 transition to Fox ownership.

Here they are -- as they once were:

WFAA8 anchor Cynthia Izaguirre's nose survives hard punch from garage door


Cynthia Izaguirre, co-anchor of Dallas-based WFAA8's Daybreak, will be missing in action this week after a garage door got the best of her nose.

Her colleagues reported on the mishap during Friday's program (the video is below). Izaguirre related how it happened during a telephone interview Monday with unclebarky.com.

"Already running a little bit late for work," Izaguirre said she backed her car out of the garage at her boyfriend's house but then couldn't find the remote to close the door. It was 3:30 a.m. and dark when she went into the garage, manually hit the closer switch and rushed out to her car. She didn't make it in time.

"I didn't know that his garage door didn't have a sensor -- and my nose turned out to be the sensor," she said. "I had never seen stars, and I saw them Friday morning. I saw little silver stars everywhere. I seriously thought that not only was my nose broken, but that I had lost part of it. That's how badly it hurt. At this point, blood is gushing out of my nose."

She called her boyfriend, who rushed her to the emergency room, Izaguirre said. It turned out that her nose was still intact and gashed but not broken.

"I got lucky, man," she said. "If I had broken it, I would have needed plastic surgery and more time off from work. I was just freaking out."

The doctor decided against stitching the cut, because that might leave a scar, Izaguirre said. Instead she was told not to apply any makeup to the cut for several days, and "in a couple of weeks, it would look like nothing had ever happened. I just feel like a big goof, and I look like one. I've always been clumsy."

Izaguirre offered to return to Daybreak for Monday's and Tuesday's programs, and then was scheduled to have Wednesday through Friday off. But WFAA8 news director Michael Valentine told her to take the whole week off to heal, Izaguirre said.

She was already out in public Monday, having lunch with her sister. And she also is feeling good enough to laugh about the mishap.

"Today it looks so much better," she said. "And next week, with a little bit of makeup, you'll never know I hurt my nose."

Take it from Big Walt: CW33 news is full of $#!T


CW33 anchor Walt Maciborski, pictured above, clearly has been there, dung that.

The leading man of the station's 9 p.m. weekday "newscasts" now is stating the obvious in this latest ad touting CW33's determination to befoul TV news as we once knew it.

Calling attention to this stuff probably is only helping CW33 carve out its niche as the station to turn to for $#!T. And as unclebarky.com's latest D-FW ratings snapshot notes, this strategy may be starting to pay off. Which would be a big $&*!-ing shame in the long run.

Drinking news director David Duitch's Kool Aid -- some say he's merely assuming the position dictated by Tribune corporate -- has to be a hard swallow for at least some of the staffers at CW33. Maciborski doesn't seem to be among them, though. Lending your face to a campaign like this pretty much brands you for life. All that's missing is a $#!T-eating grin on his part.

Rival D-FW news directors and station managers can't believe what they're seeing on CW33. Believe me. But none are likely to come out and say so publicly. That would be breaking the code, even though the success or failure of CW33 and other Tribune-owned news purveyors could have a reverberating impact on stations still clinging to higher roads.

Here are some other suggested slogans for CW33:

All the news that's $#!T to air.

A-breast of all the action.

Holy crap! Did we just air a story on donkey shows in Tijuana?

Live, Nude Girls!

Our nipples are harder. Watch and see.

Breaking news on breaking wind!

We're ready to pleasure you.

We suck! Doesn't everybody?

Words we've used on our news: Tits, penis, pissed. (And we've only just begun).

Boy trapped in refrigerator eats own foot!

Our stories are always well-endowed.

Murrow, Cronkite -- Ick!

Any questions?

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., June 17) -- higher and higher for end game of NBA Finals

The Los Angeles Lakers' down-to-the-wire NBA championship win over the Boston Celtics built in steady increments to a monster rating in its final minutes.

ABC's Game 7 presentation, which ran from 8:07 to 10:54 p.m. Thursday, achieved the rare feat of increasing its audience in each 15-minute increment measured by Nielsen. It began with 305,384 D-FW viewers and ended with 922,937 in the 9:45 to 10 p.m. segment. That last number is close to being Dallas Cowboys size.

Overall, L.A.'s 83-79 win averaged 637,912 viewers, easily the highest of the series. And well over half of them -- 355,514 -- were advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds. For the NBA and ABC, that's a profit-taking bonanza.

Everything else got squashed, of course. The biggest overall attraction opposite Game 7, CBS11's 10 p.m. newscast, had 190,016 total viewers. In prime-time, CBS' repeat of The Mentalist led the way with 169,658 viewers. Among 18-to-49-year-olds, Fox's 8 p.m. edition of So You Think You Can Dance made the biggest dent with 65,232 viewers.

In what could be a sign of the apocalypse, CW33's 9 p.m. local newscast drew more 18-to-49-year-olds than Fox4's competing one-hour edition. Oh, but we love to kid CW33's salacious, sex-ified, drool-dripping presentations, where you can learn how to "Get In Shape to Look Better Naked" on one night and be taught "Porn 101: A Rookie's Guide to Erotica" the next. By the way, CW33's news also dominated NBC's competing repeats of The Office and Parks & Recreation in the 18-to-49 demographic.

CBS11 won a downsized three-way 10 p.m. news competition in total viewers and added a first place finish with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations.

WFAA8 took a rare trip to the 6 a.m. winner's circle by nipping NBC5 in total viewers. But the Peacock was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers by a paper-thin margin over NBC5, with Fox4 getting the 25-to-54 gold.

WFAA8 was first at 5 p.m. in total viewers, but CBS11 won with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Poker game turns deadly, with CBS11 photographer apparently shooting in self-defense

poker CrimeTape

CBS11 photographer Jerome "Jay" Johnson, whom police believe was acting in self-defense, shot and killed a would-be robber shortly after midnight Monday during a poker game in a Mesquite apartment.

The shooting occurred after the alleged intruder shot one of the players, 35-year-old Tracy Moore, who also is deceased.

CBS11 is reporting the story -- and identifying Johnson as a station employee -- on its cbs11tv.com web site under the headline "Would-Be Robber Shot Dead At Mesquite Party."

According to Lt. Bill Hedgpeth, the gunman at first wanted to join the poker game, but then pulled a gun and demanded money from the players.

When he fired at the players, Johnson pulled a gun and fatally shot the man, who was identified as 28-year-old Darvis Dervon Young in myfoxdfw.com's brief report on the shootings.

Hedgpeth said that Johnson, 34, is licensed to carry a concealed handgun and that "from all appearances at this point it does appear to be self-defense."

Johnson was questioned and released, and police have no plans to charge him at this time, Hedgpeth said. But the case will be referred to a grand jury.

"We are relieved that our employee was unharmed, but we consider this to be a personal matter and have no other comment at this time," CBS11 communications director Lori Conrad said via email Thursday.

The accounts on myfoxdfw.com and wfaa.com do not mention the CBS11 connection. No story on the shootings could be found on either nbcdfw.com or the33tv.com.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., June 14) -- sickly numbers for Dallas-made Good Guys

It's starting to look a little bleak for Fox's The Good Guys, which drooped in the local Nielsens Monday night despite its homegrown Dallas pedigree.

The serio-comic cop series' third episode, which included a cameo by Fox4 anchor Clarice Tinsley, ran third at 8 p.m. in total viewers and -- worse yet -- an overall fourth among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds. For the first time it also drew a smaller audience in both measurements than the preceding Lie to Me and the following Fox4 9 p.m. newscast.

Meanwhile, I'm still entertained by the admittedly broad comedy of Bradley Whitford, whose old school detective staggered through Monday's episode with a bad case of the flu. Maybe it takes a sick sense of humor.

For the record, Good Guys drew 128,940 total viewers after Lie to Me lured 183,230. Only NBC's Last Comic Standing registered a smaller 8 to 9 p.m. audience among the Big Four broadcast networks. It had 101,795 viewers while CBS' frontrunning rerun combo of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory respectively drew 162,871 and 237,521 viewers.

In the 18-to-49 demographic, Good Guys rang up 45,662 viewers in finishing an out-of-the-money fourth.

At 9 p.m., the second episode of NBC's new Persons Unknown serial drama likewise came up empty with fourth places finishes in both ratings measurements. But it still had more 18-to-49-year-olds than Good Guys.

National ratings weren't yet available as of this writing. But they've so far been even worse news for Good Guys.

In Monday's local news derby results, CBS11 edged WFAA8 in total viewers at 10 p.m., but WFAA8 had the win among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 had a narrow 6 a.m. win in total viewers, with Fox4 prevailing by a paper-thin margin in the 25-to-54 demographic.

CBS11 nipped WFAA8 at 6 p.m. in total viewers, but WFAA8 again was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The 5 p.m. spoils went to WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Take it from the late Jimmy Dean: "Climbs hills like a sure-footed stallion"

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Long before hawking his signature line of pork sausage, Jimmy Dean pitched the virtues of the engine-in-the-back Chevy Corvair.

The Plainview, TX native, who died Sunday at age 81, did the below commercial in 1960, just a year before recording his chart-smashing anthem, "Big Bad John." The extended spot has a State Fair motif and a hokey feel that was pretty typical of the times. A half-century later, though, I sure wish I had one of those cars.

CW33 newsroom discovers that breasts are big

A commenter billing himself/herself as "PromoPeep" has come to the defense of Dallas-based CW33 and its sex-laced 9 p.m. newscasts.

"Get over it! It's the only station in town doing anything unique. More power to it," says PromoPeep.

True dat. And by that rationale, a projectile vomiting contest qualifies, too. Haven't seen that yet -- at least on a newscast.

Anyway, the below video is just for you, PromoPeep. It's CW33's recent discovery that full-bodied breasts are popular. And the reporter, of course, is resident sex specialist Shana Franklin.

Change nothing. Ship it untouched straight to The Daily Show for a surefire laff riot. "Unique" reporting of this caliber deserves a far wider audience. D-FW's very own CW33 should be allowed to show how far ahead of the curve it is as a provider of cutting edge news you can use for a new age of PromoPeeps.

But seriously, is there no shame at all over there? Wow.


Mmm . . . WTF?!


Your friendly content provider is jealous that the above ad is appearing on The Dallas Observer's Unfair Park blog and not on unclebarky.com. Um, was it something I said?

By the way, that's 9 p.m. weekday news co-anchor Amanda Salinas licking that spoon. Meanwhile, Journalism 101 is sick to its stomach.
Ed Bark

P.S. Many thanks to Unfair Park's Robert Wilonsky for the link to the Mike Snyder exit interview. But as for that "this just in" press release announcing CBS11's 4:30 a.m. start time, well, we reported that one -- pre-press release -- on May 13th. Gotta fly the little flag here.

Over and out for NBC5's Mike Snyder

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Mike Snyder's 30-year career with KXAS/NBC5 will end on July 1st when the 56-year-old anchor/reporter retires from the Fort Worth-based station.

Both Snyder and NBC5 president/general manager Thomas Ehlmann portrayed the decision as voluntary in memos sent to staffers Tuesday evening.

"It's not news anchors in general. It's the fact that every news anchor in the country is really facing the crossroads of longevity," Snyder said in a telephone interview Wednesday morning. "The industry is changing exponentially, and almost right before our eyes.

"Would I like to stay? Sure I would. I would absolutely love to stay until I could work no more. But now I've been given an opportunity to explore other adventures. And I think it's important for people to know that I've not been sitting idly by and hoping something would happen and fall in my lap. I've been working on this transition for the better part of a year."

The transition began in July of last year, when Snyder was dropped as co-anchor of NBC5's 10 p.m. newscasts, where he had teamed with Jane McGarry for 17 years. Snyder and McGarry, who later also was removed from her 10 p.m. anchor chair, since have been co-anchoring the NBC-owned station's 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts under substantially reduced salaries.

Snyder's contract with NBC5 will expire on July 1st. The former KLIF-AM radio deejay and news director joined KXAS in 1980, but said he doesn't envision a return to that medium.

"I think radio is struggling with its own transition," Snyder said. "I doubt seriously that what I would be involved with is radio. But I'm not getting out of the news business. There are too many stories to tell and places to see and adventures to be had. What form that takes is still undecided. But quite frankly, I'm not independently wealthy. So I have to find gainful employment."

Snyder and his wife, Lyn, have two daughters, 8 and 10 years of age. He also has a 26-year-old son and boy and girl 23-year-old twins from a previous marriage.

"I'm not going anywhere," Snyder said. "This is my home. I'm deeply involved in our community and I can't imagine leaving this."

Snyder said it was "very difficult" on him as a child when his parents moved several times. "So I want my children to be able, literally, to go down the street and visit their grandparents," he said.

Snyder has been co-anchoring NBC5's local segments for the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon since 1991. He's also closely involved with the Salvation Army's annual Angel Tree Christmas project and is an honorary colonel in the Air National Guard.

In his memo Tuesday to NBC5 colleagues, Snyder said in part, "The journey from 1980 to now has literally taken me around the world for NBC5, sometimes a challenging journey, but never boring. We have experienced many more highs than lows together over those years . . . I leave with no regrets. I am filled with joy about the work we have done together and I will cling tightly to my respect for all of you I am proud to call friends."

Ehlman, in his brief memo, said that Snyder "is announcing he will be leaving us at the end of the month. Mike has had a distinguished career with NBC here and he will be missed by all. We will be celebrating Mike's NBC5 years over the coming weeks."

Snyder, in Wednesday's telephone interview, said "it's difficult to imagine my work day beginning without going there (to NBC5). But you have to learn to keep your eyes down the road."

McGarry's long-term prospects at NBC5 are uncertain, and Snyder said he has no idea whether she, too, will soon be part of NBC5's history.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., June 7) -- staggering start for Dallas-made Good Guys

The outcome wasn't so great for Monday's time slot premiere of Fox's The Good Guys, which ran third locally in Nielsen's two major ratings food groups.

That's better than the national numbers, where Good Guys finished fourth.

First the "good news."

The made-in-Dallas, serio-comic cop series drew 142,512 D-FW viewers at 8 p.m., running behind CBS' repeats of Two and a Half Men (176,444 viewers) and The Big Bang Theory (183,230 viewers), and the second hour of ABC's The Bachelorette (169,658 viewers). But Good Guys did beat NBC's second half of Last Comic Standing (115,367 viewers).

Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, Good Guys likewise took the bronze with 68,494 viewers, besting the CBS comedy combo but trailing Bachelorette (84,802 viewers) and Last Comic Standing (81,540 viewers).

There may be a bit of a silver lining, though. In both ratings measurements, Good Guys increased its audience in each 15-minute increment measured by Nielsen. Its total viewer haul went from 115,367 from 8 to 8:15 p.m. to 190,016 from 8:45 to 9 p.m. That's a tune-in, always a better alternative than a turn-off.

Now for the ominous storm clouds. Good Guys averaged just 4.6 million total viewers nationally in logging a fourth place finish behind bronze medalist Last Comic Standing (5.1 million). It was worse among 18-to-49-year-olds, with the CBS comedies and Bachelorette drawing roughly twice as many viewers in this key age group while Last Comic Standing also ran comfortably ahead of Good Guys.

As previously noted, Fox has slated Good Guys to run throughout the summer on Monday nights and also has given the series a Friday night berth on its fall schedule. The hot weather run likely will remain in place. But a future beyond that might prove to be illogical unless the ratings perk up.

Meanwhile, at 9 p.m. locally, NBC came up mostly empty with the premiere of its whodunit miniseries Persons Unknown, which was not available for review before it aired. PU drew just 95,008 total viewers to run fourth in that measurement behind CBS' top draw repeat of CSI: Miami (217,162 viewers). The NBC newcomer tied Fox4's local newscast for third place among 18-to-49-year-olds.

In local news derby results, WFAA8 and CBS11 tied for first at 10 p.m. in total viewers, with WFAA8 alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 notched a pair of victories at 6 a.m. while WFAA8 did likewise at 6 p.m.

The 5 p.m. golds went to WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

It's officially Good Guys Day in Dallas (but tonight's national ratings will be of far more import)


Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (center) decrees "Good Guys Day" at an early morning ceremony Monday. Joining in are stars Diana Maria Riva, Bradley Whitford, Colin Hanks and Jenny Wade. Fox photo

Monday dawned bright and clear as The Good Guys Day in Dallas, courtesy of Mayor Tom Leppert.

The Fox series' principal stars agreeably gripped and grinned with the mayor during an early call at the Dallas Scottish Rite Library and Museum. Then it was back to work.

The Good Guys, a retro serio-comic cop drama being filmed entirely in North Texas, premieres in its regular summertime Monday time slot on June 7th at 8 p.m. central. Last month's sneak preview did well in the local Nielsen ratings but pretty much flopped nationally. So tonight's performance will be of more than marginal importance, even though Good Guys already has been given a Friday night berth on Fox's fall schedule.

Our previously posted review of tonight's entertaining "Bait and Switch" episode can be found here.
Ed Bark

Doing Dallas: Thursday's So You Think You Can Dance showcases SMU auditions


Host Cat Deeley lights up the Dallas auditions. Photo: Ed Bark

Thursday's latest two-hour edition of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance (7 to 9 p.m. central) will include auditions from Dallas taped in mid-March.

The show's two luminaries, lead judge/executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and host Cat Deeley, both spent the day at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium, where several hopefuls got their go-ahead tickets to Las Vegas during the morning round.

Lythgoe nonetheless was a bit underwhelmed.

"I think we've lost quite a few people" to Austin's annual South by Southwest music festival, which was then in progress. "I'm not sure our timing has been good," Lythgoe said.

New York, in contrast, "was fabulous" as expected, he said. But he pronounced Dallas as better than Miami, which was "cold custard, I thought."

This is Season 7 of Think You Can Dance, with the eventual winner again getting a $250,000 cash prize, the title of "America's Favorite Dancer" and a cover feature in next March's issue of Dance Spirit magazine.

"But it's not like American Idol, where you're given two million dollars because you're going to make a record company four million dollars," said Lythgoe, a former co-producer of that show. "In this life, you only get paid what you're making for someone else. And we don't have dance stars anymore, like we had with Ginger (Rogers) and Fred (Astaire)."

Some have done all right. Chelsie Hightower, Lacey Schwimmer and Dmitry Chaplin all have been pro partners on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. And Think You Can Dance alum Stephen "tWitch" Boss will be starring in this summer's Step Up 3-D feature film.

None are in any danger of becoming the next Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry or Jennifer Hudson, though. So the judges' criticism are muted compared to most competition shows, Lythgoe said.

"If we knock them down, we knock them down to rebuild them. It's that self-esteem that you need as a dancer, because you have nothing else. So you don't really need to be crucified out there."

Most contestants have come to realize that you need more than great moves.

Ace technical dancers without the requisite charisma will fall short, said host Cat Deeley. "The dancers seem to be much more savvy now. You have to have that certain star quality, and bring all the extra stuff."

For the first time this season, 12 former contestants will return to the show as "all-star dance partners" in an obvious nod to Dancing with the Stars. They include the aformentioned tWitch as well as Comfort Fedoke, the Season 4 top 8 finisher who attended Dallas' Booker T. Washington Performing Arts School.

The Dallas auditions also brought a post-lunch "cheerleader pop" routine from Fiona Gorostiza of Fox4's Good Day. As previously posted, she mostly impressed Lythgoe, who deduced, "You looked really good doing that, sweetheart. Very sexy."

Gorostiza's Think You Can Dance performance eventually made it to a late May edition of Good Day. And here it is:

Summer of '96: Two homegrown KXAS spots tout weather, sports plusses in idyllic pre-NBC ownership days

"Ever hear of sun dogs?"

A fake farmer asked that question 14 summers ago in a brief spot touting the seemingly more authentic weathercasting skills of Fort Worth-based KXAS-TV's trio of meteorologists. Only David Finfrock remains in play today, with Rebecca Miller at Dallas-based CW33 and Scott Chesner now at KETK-TV in Tyler, TX.

In that same summer of '96, KXAS promised to keep you on top of all sports news with their team of Scott Murray, John Rhadigan, Bill Jones and a fleetingly seen guy who looks like Ric Renner, but might not be. (In fact, it's Terry Briggs, current whereabouts unknown.) Jones is now with D-FW's CBS11, Rhadigan is a longtime anchor for Fox Sports Southwest and Murray, the former lead dog, presides over Dallas-based Murray Media.

Take a look at the way they were: