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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Aug. 28-30) -- Cowboys ride "small" in the saddle

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Dallas Cowboys’ latest pre-season loss also underperformed in the D-FW Nielsen ratings despite being the annual “dress rehearsal” game in which QB Tony Romo made more than a cameo appearance.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 28-14 win at Jerry’s Palace, which ran until 9:05 p.m. on CBS11, averaged 439,362 total viewers and 151,387 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

Both are pre-season lows, particularly when compared to the Aug. 23rd loss at San Francisco, which had 634,634 total viewers and 271,227 in the 18-to-49 age range. On Saturday nights at least, many potential in-home viewers apparently went out instead. But Nielsen Media Research no longer even tries to measure sports bar viewing, executives told unclebarky.com at this summer’s Television Critics Association “press tour.”

The loss to the 49ers came on Sunday night while Game 1 of the pre-season, a late night defeat at San Diego, was on a Thursday. It averaged 536,998 total viewers and 245,996 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Whatever the night, the audience for Dallas and Minnesota was rather remarkably low. But the Cowboys still bludgeoned the competing Texas Rangers, who are very much in post-season contention and currently on a four-game winning streak.

Saturday night’s competing Rangers’ home win against Baltimore drew 97,636 total viewers on Fox Sports Southwest and 37,846 in the 18-to-49 realm. That at least bettered the Seattle Seahawks-San Diego Chargers pre-season game, which was exiled to CBS11’s sister station, TXA21. That one had 41,844 total viewers and 25,230 of the 18-to-49 persuasion in competition with both the Cowboys and the Rangers.

The Rangers’ most-watched weekend game was Sunday afternoon’s 6-0 shutout of Baltimore, with pitcher Derek Holland going the distance. It pulled in 139,480 total viewers on FSS, with 44,153 in the 18-to-49 measurement.

On Sunday night, AMC’s second episode of Fear the Walking Dead ranked as prime-time’s biggest draw in both ratings barometers. It had 209,220 total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour, with a staggering 157,690 in the 18-to-49 age range.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football pre-season game between the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals averaged 188,298 total viewers, with 69,384 of them in the 18-to-49 demographic.

The NFL scored on Friday night, with CBS’ Lions-Jaguars pre-season snarl drawing the most total prime-time viewers (132,506) while also leading among 18-to-49-year-olds (59,922).

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while CBS11 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 notched two more wins at 6 a.m.

NBC5 and CBS11 shared the 6 p.m. top spot in total viewers, with TEGNA8 just a sliver behind. Fox4 and TEGNA8 tied for first among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 and NBC5 tied for the most total viewers at 5 p.m. The 25-to-54 golds also went to Fox4 and the Peacock, with TEGNA again finishing just a hair back.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Saving primate Ryan, who's still upright after two decades of anchoring Fox4's early morning newscasts


@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Tim Ryan, the early morning mainstay who makes Fox4’s Good Day percolate, marked 20 years with the program on Friday’s show.

The station aired a ”Once Upon A Tim” video package set to the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song.

Ryan, who’s been with the Dallas-based station for a total of 25 years, began the early morning grind in 1995. It was a bit easier back then. Fox4 had separate news anchors for the 5 to 6 a.m. portion of the show. Now Good Day begins at 4:30 a.m., with Ryan there all the way to the daily 9 a.m. finish. He’s had three younger, prettier women co-anchors during that time -- Julia Somers, Megan Henderson and Lauren Przybyl, who’s been Ryan’s desk mate since September, 2009.

In just the last 10 years, all of the early morning shows at competitors NBC5, TEGNA8 and CBS11 have switched male news anchors multiple times while Ryan has stood the test of time at the still No. 1-rated Fox4.

“It’s been grinding,” he said in an interview after his first decade of waking up at ungodly hours. “I looked at this tape the other day. I’m like 20 pounds heavier and look 40 years older than I did 10 years ago.”

But he continues to age and wear well. Meanwhile, the last 10 years have seen rivals ride merry-go-rounds with Doug Dunbar (now CBS11’s featured P.M. anchor); Brendan Higgins (at both NBC5 and CBS11); Michael Rey, Justin Farmer, Chris Flanagan, Brad Hawkins and Jeff Brady (all formerly of TEGNA8); Scott Sams, Keith Garvin and Jason Allen (CBS11); and Scott Friedman, Omar Villafranca and Mark Hayes (NBC5).

Allen and Friedman have returned to their respective stations’ investigative units. Ryan’s current male news anchor competitors are NBC5’s Marc Fein, TEGNA8’s Ron Corning and CBS11’s Russ McCaskey. Corning, the longest--tenured of the three, has been with Daybreak since April of 2011.

Here’s the video from Fox4’s Friday morning commemoration of Ryan’s 20 years of coffee cup duty.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., Aug. 26-27) -- Big Brother keeps rolling, Carmichael Family OK for starters

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS’ Wednesday-Thursday ratings are still buoyed by Big Brother, which dominated the key 18-to-49-year-old ratings on both nights.

Wednesday’s 7 p.m. episode of BB fell to NBC’s competing American’s Got Talent in D-FW’s total viewers measurement by a score of 237,116 to 188,298. But in the barometer that quickens advertisers’ pulses, BB wiped out AGT among 18-to-49-year-olds. That scoreboard ended up 116,691 to 63,076, with AGT also being beaten by Fox’s 7 p.m. episode of Masterchef (75,691) in this key demographic.

Thursday’s 8 p.m. BB outing also led all prime-time programming among 18-to-49-year-olds with 94,614 before CBS’ Under the Dome collapsed at 9 p.m. with 37,846. Fox4’s victorious 9 p.m. local newscast doubled the Dome crowd with 75,691 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range while also winning the hour in total viewers.

NBC double-premiered The Carmichael Show from 8 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. The two episodes fell off from AGT’s lead-in, but still managed to win their time slots in total viewers with 181,324 and then 153,428. In the 18-to-49 realm, Carmichael Show ran a close second to Fox’s competing 8 p.m. episode of Home Free. But it still had NBC’s worst showing in this demographic, with the Peacock’s Last Comic Standing rebounding to win the 9 p.m. hour among 18-to-49-year-olds.

ABC, whose summer programming mostly needs to be put out of its misery, ran last across the board in both ratings measurements Wednesday in competition among the Big Four broadcast networks. On Thursday night, only ABC’s 9 p.m. episode of Rookie Blue managed even a third place finish -- in total viewers. ABC’s entire lineup otherwise again ran fourth with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Here are the Wednesday and Thursday local news derby results.

Wednesday -- TEGNA8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while CBS11 led with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

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

Thursday -- Fox4 ran the table at 10 p.m. and also notched another pair of 6 a.m. wins.

NBC5 won both of the 5 p.m. golds, finished first with 25-to-54-year-olds at 6 p.m. and tied CBS11 for the top spot at that hour in total viewers.

LOCAL TV NEWS NOTE: -- Former CBS11 reporter Stephanie Lucero, who left the station in late April, has a new position that she’ll begin on Monday, Aug. 31st.

Lucero, who earlier reported for Fox4 during a roughly 30-year career as a TV journalist, will be communications coordinator for Texans Can Academy, formerly Dallas Can Academy. She spent 18 years with CBS11.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Aug. 25) -- Talent rolls before Rangers mop up

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC’s America’s Got Talent, getting down to the nub of crowning another winner, ran away with Tuesday’s 7 to 9 p.m. ratings before the Texas Rangers were a hit in the 9 p.m. hour.

AGT drew 244,090 D-FW viewers and 85,153 in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

The postseason-contending Rangers’ tough home loss to Toronto, in which they lost a ninth inning lead, averaged 160,402 total viewers for the full game, with 63,076 in the 18-to-49 age range.

From 9 to 10 p.m., though, those numbers ballooned to time slot-winning numbers of 202,246 total viewers and 85,153 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

ABC’s 8 to 10 p.m. dollop of Extreme Weight Loss again was Tuesday’s biggest overall loss leader. It had just 55,792 total viewers and shrunk to 18,923 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results.

CBS11 swept the 10 p.m. competitions with wins in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 regained control at 6 a.m. with twin wins while TEGNA8 fell from Monday’s first place finishes to a third-place tie with CBS11 in total viewers and a fourth-place flop with 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m., but TEGNA8 won in the 25-to-54 measurement. NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Aug. 24) -- back to school is mostly sunny side up for early morning newscasts

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Three months of no school and family vacations always mean diminished ratings for D-FW’s early morning newscasts.

But whether overcast or not, the sun came up Monday with the return to classrooms and upticks in parental watching to see if anything might be amiss.

Compared to Monday, Aug. 17th, Fox4, NBC5, TEGNA8 and CBS11 all saw increases in the key 25-to-54-year-old news demographic while three of the four stations increased their total viewership from a week ago during the most-watched 6 to 7 a.m. hour. The prime beneficiary was TEGNA8, which more than doubled its audience in both ratings measurements.

Here’s a look at how they fared on what amounted to Super Bowl Monday. Plusses and minuses from the previous Monday are in parentheses.

Total Viewers
Fox4/TEGNA8 -- 88,570 (plus 26,501 & plus 53,700)
NBC5 -- 63,463 (plus 9,066)
CBS11 -- 42,541 (minus 9,764)

TEGNA8 -- 49,192 (plus 33,190)
Fox4 -- 42,673 (plus 10,372)
NBC5 -- 31,412 (plus 2,371)
CBS11 -- 27,856 (plus 5,334)

It’s just one day, but those are quantum leaps for TEGNA8, which ran last in the two key ratings barometers on Monday, Aug. 17th. On Monday, Aug. 24th, the station went straight to the head of the class with a polished apple in hand.

In prime-time, Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast had the biggest overall audience with 195,272 total viewers. Among 18-to-49-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for entertainment programming), NBC’s American Ninja Warrior led with 69,384 viewers.

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

TEGNA8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 led with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 swept the 5 p.m. competitions and also placed first at 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 realm. CBS11 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Fort Worth-based NBC5 tabs Mark Ginther as new vp of news

KXAS_Ginther Mark 1

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC5 has named Mark Ginther as the Fort Worth-based station’s vice president of news.

Ginther, who was assistant news director at rival TEGNA8 from 2006-’08, succeeds Susan Tully, who in June was named president and general manager of NBC-owned WVIT-TV in Connecticut.

The announcement came Monday, with NBC5 president and general manager Tom Ehlmann touting Ginther as “a seasoned news professional who knows how to relate to important news and information in a way that is meaningful to local audiences.”

Ginther, who starts on Sept. 14th, will arrive from NBC affiliate KING-TV in Seattle, where he has been executive news director since 2008. He also helmed Seattle’s 24-hour news channel, NWCN Cable.

“NBC5 is a strong news station in a growing region of the country,” Ginther says in a publicity release. “I’m excited about joining a team committed to great journalism and community service.”

The University of St. Thomas graduate also previously was news director at WHO-TV, the Des Moines, Iowa NBC affiliate.

Tully spent 14 years as the head of NBC5’s news department.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs.-Sun., Aug. 20-23) -- Comatose Cowboys? Doesn't matter

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Dallas Cowboys’ flatline performance Sunday night in a 23-6 loss at San Francisco did not dull the ratings for CBS11’s presentation.

In fact, the pretend game did significantly better in D-FW than the Aug. 13th opening pre-season loss at San Diego, which weighed in at 536,998 viewers and 245,996 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

Cowboys-49ers, which stretched (and yawned) from 7:05 to 9:58 p.m., pulled in 634,634 total viewers and 271,227 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Meanwhile, on Fox Sports Southwest, the streaking Texas Rangers’ Sunday afternoon win at Detroit drew 90,662 total viewers and 34,692 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Mind you, the Rangers have come roaring back to currently claim the second post-season wild card spot in the American League. And the Cowboys again benched many of their key players, with quarterback Tony Romo making an opening cameo appearance for three downs before somehow staying awake from the team’s bench for the rest of the game. Still, the Cowboys drew seven times as many total viewers as the Rangers and nearly eight times as many 18-to-49-year-olds.

This further solidifies TEGNA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen’s oft-stated pronouncements -- and he loves making them -- that the Cowboys are a ratings Gila monster to the Rangers’ ant hill. Hansen might want to sell station management on a weekly 6:30 p.m. sports special in which various Cowboys alternately are shown walking their dogs, eating ice cream or throwing water balloons at one another. For a big finish, selected players could compete in an Albertson’s grocery cart demolition derby hosted by Jason Witten. The timing couldn’t be better.

Sunday’s big scripted series premiere, AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead prequel, came alive to outdraw everything except the Cowboys from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Fear had 188,292 total viewers and 138,767 in the 18-to-49 motherlode. That’s an extremely impressive percentage of the viewers that many advertisers will pay a premium to reach.

CBS’ regular Sunday prime-time lineup, sent packing to sister station TXA21, was led by a 7 p.m. episode of Big Brother with 111,584 total viewers and 53,615 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Over on Fox, the network probably shouldn’t have bothered with a Rams-Titans pre-season game -- at least not in these parts. It had 34,870 total viewers on Fox4 opposite the Cowboys.

The Rangers’ most-watched games in total viewers were a Thursday loss and a Friday win at Detroit. Each game averaged 125,532 viewers. Saturday night’s Rangers-Tigers game, exiled to Fox Sports 1, dipped to 83,688 total viewers.

Here are the four-way local news derby results for Thursday and Friday.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but NBC5 led with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 and TEGNA8 tied for first at 6 a.m. in both ratings measurements.

There was another tie at 6 p.m., with TEGNA8 and CBS11 sharing the lead in total viewers while NBC5 won a close four-way fight among 25-to-54-year-olds. The 5 p.m. golds went to the Peacock in total viewers and TEGNA8 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Friday -- TEGNA8 edged CBS11 in total viewers at 10 p.m. but ran slightly behind NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 won by paper-thin margins at 6 a.m. in both ratings measurements, with NBC5, TEGNA8 and CBS11 all bunched up close behind for the last weekday early morning newscasts before Monday’s big back-to-school blowout (in which all four stations likely will shake off the summer doldrums and see some ratings gains).

NBC5 otherwise dominated with doubleheader wins at both 5 and 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Multi-honored WFAA-TV investigator Byron Harris talks about exhaling after 40-plus years of pushing hard

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Then and now: award-laden investigative reporter Byron Harris

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Byron Harris, dean of D-FW television’s investigative reporters, initially will be separating himself from WFAA-TV (TEGNA8) in a big way after retiring on Oct. 9th.

Although his right foot is in a cast from a recent mishap, “I’m gonna go flying-fishing in Slovenia with my wife (Linda), who’s my fishing buddy,” Harris said in a telephone interview Monday morning with unclebarky.com. “We enjoy going to weird places.”

Harris, who celebrated his 40th year at the Dallas-based station on Oct. 20th of last year, has chosen to exit TV journalism on his 69th birthday. TEGNA8 officially announced his retirement on Friday, with president and general manager Mike Devlin saying in a statement, “Byron’s body of work is so extensive that it is nearly impossible to adequately portray the impact and changes his reporting has produced.”

His trophy case alone could buckle the knees of a circus strongman. Since coming to Dallas in 1974, Harris’ investigations have won him two George Foster Peabody awards, four Edward R. Murrow awards, four Gerald Loeb awards and six duPont-Columbia awards. These are the most prestigious national honors in the television news business.

Harris was hired by late, legendary news director Marty Haag, in whose name WFAA dedicated its newsroom on Nov. 11, 2013 just before the Gannett Company officially took control of the station from Belo Corp., its longtime Dallas-based owner. (Gannett recently spun off its TV holdings into a separate company, TEGNA, Inc.).

Harris, reporter Doug Fox and anchor-reporter Tracy Rowlett all were hired in rapid succession from Oklahoma City’s KWTV-TV, where they had resigned in protest of the station’s handling of an expose on local car dealers. They were dubbed the “Oklahoma Mafia,” but Harris said he doesn’t remember how that came to be. “In fact, I don’t think it was coined inside the station. I think it was someplace else.”

He began his career as a film editor at Milwaukee’s WTMJ-TV before hitting the streets as a photographer for an Amarillo TV station. There were no live shots back then and “most of the film we shot was silent,” Harris said. “When you went out with a sound rig, it weighed about 50 pounds. You had all this stuff hanging off you . . . Now you can shoot a story with your phone.”

Harris said he had hoped to retire earlier, but was waiting on the resolution of a lawsuit involving his investigation of questionable spending of millions of dollars on dental Medicaid. He won his sixth DuPont-Columbia for those reports and the suit was dismissed earlier this summer.

“Clearly it was a big load off my shoulders,” Harris said. ”When you get sued it has a way of dominating your life. It was a nuisance lawsuit but it went on for a long time.”

The television news business now requires reporters to tailor their stories for three separate “platforms” -- TV, the Internet and “social media” (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

“It’s kind of like re-writing it in French,” Harris said of retooling a TV story for the Internet. “Television relies on pictures and the Internet is like writing a print article. You have to re-think the whole thing in many cases. But it doesn’t do any good to wish for the good old days. There are never any good old days in anything. It’s only today and tomorrow. Is it a pain in the neck to have to do an Internet version? Yes, but ultimately more people read the print story than look at the TV story. You have a great reach on the Internet. But social media is frankly still mystifying to me.”

Being an investigative reporter inevitably comes down to the big finish -- confronting the alleged wrongdoer. It’s seldom if ever a walk in the park and oftentimes a gut-grinder. But it’s what Harris signed on for.

“Whether it’s by phone or by camera, it’s always the last step in the process that you know is going to be there from the first moment of the story,” he said. “And so you’ve been preparing yourself intellectually for it and how you’re gonna do it. So it’s really just acting it out. Some are more stressful than others. I’m probably going to do one today. We’ll see what happens. You just never know. You have to kind of think of it as doing the right thing. If a journalist is doing the right thing, then this is the apotheosis of that.”

Down the stretch, Harris said he had to face the fact that television is first and foremost a visual medium. In short, the older you are, the less telegenic you get.

“When you look at the world through your brain, it looks the same,” he said. “But then I see myself on television and I think, ‘My God, that guy looks old.’ In some ways, being old can be an advantage. But in some ways it’s a disadvantage. Television is a place for younger faces. To say that isn’t an issue would be wrong. It’s an issue.”

Fellow veteran TV gumshoe Becky Oliver recently retired after a 24-year career at rival Fox4. But Harris’ longtime running mate, Brett Shipp, remains in place at TEGNA8 and also has racked up numerous prestigious awards over the years.

“I’m sure Brett’ll be here,” Harris said. “He gives me energy every day, just looking at how hard he works. I don’t expect his zeal to subside at all. I expect him to be allowed to continue for another decade to come, two decades, whatever.”

Harris plans to make a clean break, first with that fly fishing trip to Slovenia and also by reading, taking photographs, “all kinds of things. In TV, you really have to devote your whole life to it. You don’t have a lot of real mentally free time.

“I think a lot of people leaving this business have a big exhale.”

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Aug. 19) -- another 3-way "reality competition" battle

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Summertime Wednesdays at 7 p.m. mean another square-off among three “reality competition” kingpins. There were two winners in the latest skirmish.

NBC’s live America’s Got Talent results hour drew the most D-FW viewers with 230,142, holding off CBS’ Big Brother and Fox’s Masterchef (195,272 apiece).

But BB topped the field among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds, pulling in 104,075 to whip Masterchef (91,460) and AGT (63,076). That’s a lousy percentage for AGT.

In the 8 p.m. hour, NBC’s Mr. Robinson won from 8 to 8:30 p.m. in total viewers before the second half of Fox’s Home Free ran first from 8:30 to 9 p.m. But the two Mr. Robinson episodes took both half-hours in the key 18-to-49 demographic.

The 9 p.m. winners were Fox4’s local news in total viewers and NBC’s Last Comic Standing among 18-to-49-year-olds.

ABC as usual played dead for most of the night, running fourth across the board among the Big 4 broadcast networks in the 7 and 9 p.m. hours. From 8 to 9 p.m., repeats of Modern Family and black-ish nudged ABC into third place with 18-to-49-year-olds ahead of CBS’ competing Extant.

A dreaded afternoon workday game killed the Texas Rangers’ ratings momentum, despite the return of pitcher Derek Holland and a 7-2 win for the surging North Texas Nine. Rangers-Mariners averaged 55,792 total viewers on Fox Sports Southwest and 15,769 in the 18-to-49 age range. Monday night’s win over Seattle set a season-to-date ratings high with 209,220 total viewers.

The 3 p.m. T.D. Jakes show, being test-driven for three weeks in four TV markets, fared worse than the Rangers. Produced by TEGNA, Inc. and airing on TEGNA8, T.D. had 34,870 total viewers to tie CBS11’s Dr. Phil for third in that time slot. But the good reverend registered “hashmarks” (no measurable audience) among 18-to-49-year-olds. Fox4’s syndicated TMZ Live! led the 3 p.m. hour with 22,077 viewers in the 18-to-49 realm.

Here are Wednesday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 swept the 10 p.m. competitions for the second straight night, winning in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 logged another pair of 6 a.m. wins while the Peacock added two more firsts -- at 5 p.m. in total viewers and at 6 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds.

TEGNA8 ran first at 5 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds and CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. That gave all four stations at least one lollipop.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Aug. 18) -- Talent on top

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC’s two-hour live edition of America’s Got Talent ranked No. 1 among all prime-time programming Tuesday, with the show now down to its 12 finalists.

AGT drew 244,090 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. while also leading the pack among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds with 88,306.

Although trailing AGT, the Texas Rangers’ 3-2 home loss to Seattle won the 9 p.m. hour in both ratings measurements. Overall the game averaged 153,428 total viewers and 66,310 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

ABC again dragged bottom in prime-time with a pair of Fresh Off the Boat reruns and a two-hour dollop of Extreme Weight Loss. In the total viewers measurement, each of the three shows had 41,844 while also being mostly spurned by 18-to-49-year-olds (highs of 15,769 viewers for Weight Loss and the 7 p.m. repeat of Fresh Off the Boat).

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 held on to narrowly win at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

There also were sweeps at 6 a.m. (Fox4), 5 p.m. (NBC5) and 6 p.m. (TEGNA8).

Email comments or questions to: uncleebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Aug. 17) -- Rangers roll with viewers, too

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
After several months of ho-hum ratings, the resurgent Texas Rangers at last are a ratings hit again.

Monday night’s 4-3 walk-off home win against Seattle outdrew all prime-time competition in D-FW while also ranking a strong second among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds. Fox Sports Southwest is the prime beneficiary, with the Rangers once again very much a post-season contender.

Ending at 9:59 p.m., Monday’s game averaged 209,220 viewers in beating Fox4’s runner-up 9 p.m. local newscast (188,298) and NBC’s 7 to 9 p.m. edition of the formidable American Ninja Warrior (167,376).

In the 18-to-49 measurement, Ninja scored highest with 94,614 viewers. But the Rangers were a very respectable second (81,999) and beat the closing half-hour of Ninja before easily winning the 9 p.m. hour.

ABC tanked at 9 p.m. with The Whispers, which had prime-time’s lowest totals among the Big Four broadcast networks in both total viewers (48,818) and 18-to-49-year-olds (6,308).

Here are Monday’s local news derby results.

Fox4 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). The station also ran the table at 6 a.m.

CBS11 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m. and tied Fox4 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

At 5 p.m., NBC had the most total viewers and Fox4 won among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

TEGNA further stamps its mark on WFAA with new image spot featuring reporter Demond Fernandez

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The TEGNA-fication of Dallas-based WFAA-TV (TEGNA8) continues apace with a new one-minute image spot showcasing reporter Demond Fernandez.

Hired in June 2014 from ABC affiliate KTRK-TV in Houston, Fernandez is presented as a caring, community-oriented storyteller who lives and breathes the overall TEGNA mission of “empowerment.” As when Fernandez says, “There’s a certain pride in seeing our viewers become empowered through different situations.”

Fernandez, who narrates the ad, is positioned as a selfless champion of the people who also embraces those he covers. “And we’re all proud of you,” he tells a young woman athlete. “You know that? Cool.”

“We have to live the experience,” Fernandez says. “The communities I cover, I live in, I work in, I support every day.”

There’s no mention of Dallas in the spot. And don’t blink or you’ll miss the very fleeting glimpses of “WFAA” and a “News 8 ABC” logo.

TEGNA, the new name for Gannett-owned television stations and websites such as Cars.com, is a truncated scramble of the letters that make up Gannett. The corporation homogenizes its “community”-conscious properties from afar via its McLean, VA corporate offices.

In late August of last year, WFAA was forced to use the same mandated newscast theme music and bottom-of-the-screen graphics as most if not all of the 46 Gannett-owned TV stations. WFAA’s longstanding, homegrown “Spirit of Texas” news jingle was the primary casualty.

WFAA, which had been owned for more than 60 years by Dallas-based Belo Corp., was sold to Gannett in June of 2013. Gannett officially took control, after Federal Communications Commission approval, in December of that year. By April of 2014, the new owner had executed its first layoffs at WFAA and other Gannett stations. Gannett created TEGNA earlier this summer while retaining the Gannett name for its print properties.

Fernandez is one of four TEGNA employees featured in separate one-minute spots. The others are Archie Antrez, production supervisor for KPNX-TV in Phoenix; Cars.com vice president of operations Heather Rattin; and Anna Iuorio, account manager for G/O Digital.

All are portrayed as super-dedicated to the overall TEGNA goal of “empowering the people we serve to act with conviction and navigate their world successfully.”

For Fernandez, that’s supposedly a virtual 24/7 proposition. “I tell ya,” he says, “at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, you’ll typically find me out and about in the community, digging for the next story.”

Here’s the Fernandez video.

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NBC5 adds Chris Jose as reporter


@unclebarkycom on Twitter
While I was away . . . well, not that much happened in D-FW on the hiring or firing front.

But there is one new on-camera addition to share. Chris Jose, who spent the last five years on the early morning shift at two Denver stations, Fox’s KDVR-TV and The CW’s KWGN-TV, will be joining Fort Worth-based NBC5 in September as a full-time reporter. He tweeted the news earlier this month.

The Washington State University graduate previously worked at TV stations in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His station bio says that Jose also regularly emcees the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival and the Filipino American Community of Colorado’s Philippine Festival.

***CBS11 announced the hiring of two new behind-the-scenes news bosses. Laurie Passman, from KTVK-TV in Phoenix, has been named assistant news director while CJ Hoyt, from WTOL-TV in Toledo, Ohio, is the new managing editor. Both will report to news director Mike Garber. According to the announcement, Hoyt’s first day at CBS11 is Monday, Aug. 17th; Passman arrives on Aug. 31st. Reporters, re-start your engines.

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs.-Sun., Aug. 13-16) -- PGA hits Sunday's highest peak but Cowboys double down with Thursday's pretend game opener

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The closing minutes of pro golf’s last Major drew Sunday’s biggest D-FW crowd. Not that Dallasite Jordan Spieth’s battle against eventual PGA championship winner Jason Day could hold a candle to the Cowboys.

Sunday’s PGA coverage on CBS stretched from 1 to 6:11 p.m., when Day dropped in a short putt to best Spieth by three strokes. The 6 to 6:15 p.m. segment (Nielsen measures in 15-minute increments) drew 369,622 viewers, its biggest audience of the day. Overall the final round averaged 223,168 viewers, with 75,691 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

Thursday’s late night Dallas Cowboys game, an opening exhibition loss at San Diego, pulled in an average of 536,998 total viewers on CBS11. The high point came between 9:45 and 10 p.m., when Cowboys-Chargers drew 753,192 viewers.

Among 18-to-49-year-olds, the game averaged 245,996 viewers with a peak of 353,226 between 9:45 and 10 p.m. So a meaningless Cowboys game, in which many key starters didn’t play, easily more than doubled the peak and overall audiences for the PGA’s Spieth-fueled final round in both total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds.

TEGNA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen felt golf’s sting, though. His “Unplugged” interview with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, which ran from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, drew just 34,870 total viewers and 6,308 in the 18-to-49 age range. During that same hour, the PGA championship had 244,090 total viewers and 91,460 in the 18-to-49 demographic. In Hansen’s defense, he basically had an unplayable lie.

Elsewhere Sunday, the surging Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in an afternoon game on Fox Sports Southwest. Also airing opposite golf, the Rangers averaged 118,558 total viewers, with 40,999 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Here are the local news derby results for Thursday and Friday.

Thursday -- NBC5 won a downsized three-way race at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). But the combined audiences for the newscasts on NBC5, Fox4 and TEGNA8 fell far short of the 10 to 10:35 p.m. crowd for the Cowboys on CBS11.

At 6 a.m., edged Fox4 for the most total viewers while Fox4 reversed that result, also by a narrow margin, with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The Peacock ran the table at 5 p.m. and TEGNA8 did likewise at 6 p.m.

Friday -- TEGNA8 swept the 10 p.m. competitions while CBS11 perked up and smelled the coffee with a rare doubleheader win at 6 a.m.

CBS11 also had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. and tied NBC5 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

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

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net