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And to all a good night: D-FW's list of 2018 TV newsroom exits


@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Once again, unclebarky.com has tried to keep track of all the arrivals and departures at D-FW’s four major TV news providers -- Fox4, NBC5, TEGNA8 and CBS11.

As in previous years, this latest compendium lists only the 2018 departures (in alphabetical order) from your home screens.

Please remember that this is a list of on-camera personnel only. No slights are intended to off-camera staffers, whose many contributions remain valuable, and in many cases, invaluable. But TV viewers develop long-lasting or fleeting relationships with the people they see in their living rooms -- or other “platforms.” It’s the way it is, and here we go.

FIL ALVARADO -- After 33 years as a stalwart Fox4 street reporter, he’s retiring at age 70. Alvarado’s official last day is Jan. 3rd, but he broke the news to his colleagues on Dec. 14th. So we’ll include him on this year’s list.

JENNY ANCHONDO -- Her surprise departure as the weekend anchor of Fox4’s Good Day came in March of this year after she joined the station in October 2013. Anchondo quickly hooked up with the syndicated Morning Dose program, which originated from CW33’s Dallas studios. But the program was canceled in October, leaving Anchondo looking again.

JANELLE BRANDOM -- For less than a year she was “special media anchor” for TEGNA8’s retooled Daybreak. That ended in March when Brandom departed to “pursue other opportunities.” Her Twitter page bills Brandom as a freelance emcee/host and “YouTuber” specializing in fitness and fashion.

ALEXA CONOMOS -- After a lengthy delay from her originally announced departure, she had her last day with TEGNA8’s Daybreak on January 4th, ending 15 years with the program. Conomos said she was in search of a better “work-life balance” for herself, her husband and their three young children. She’s now a real estate consultant.

SAUL GARZA -- A sturdy staple as a field reporter for Fox4’s Good Day, he left in May after 19 years with the station. Garza also presented Fox4’s longstanding “What’s Buggin’ You?” consumer watchdog reports. He soon became the City of Garland’s Social and Media Relations manager.

DAN HAGGERTY and CRISTIN SEVERANCE -- The husband and wife duo left CBS11 simultaneously in September after arriving at the station three years earlier. He’s now anchoring at Portland, Oregon’s KGW-TV (the market’s NBC station) after anchoring on weekends and reporting three days a week for CBS11. She had headed CBS11’s “Consumer Justice” unit and has joined Haggerty as an investigator for KGW.

MONICA HERNANDEZ -- After a four-year stay as a TEGNA8 reporter, Hernandez left in October and is now with New Hampshire’s ABC station, WMUR-TV, where she anchors and reports.

BRITTANY JEFFERS -- Her stay at CBS11 was a relatively short one, from August 2016 until March of this year as a general assignments reporter. The former Miss Nebraska is now with Houston’s KPRC-TV, the market’s NBC affiliate.

ALISHA LaVENTURE -- She was dropped in October for undisclosed reasons after joining TEGNA8 in July 2016, initially as the station’s weekend Daybreak anchor before quickly moving to a co-anchor slot on the weekday 4 p.m. newscasts. Her current status is unknown.

JENNIFER MYERS -- In the midst of a spat with Fox4 over having to hide her naturally curly hair with a straight red wig, she left the station in May after a six-year stint as meteorologist for weekend editions of Good Day. Myers currently is the meteorologist for North Texas-based ONCOR Electric.

KALEY O’KELLEY -- She had been CBS11’s weekday 6 and 10 p.m. co-anchor since January 2015 until leaving the station in May to pursue a (sound familiar?) “better work-life balance.” O’Kelley quickly found what she was looking for as co-anchor of the early morning weekday newscasts for Phoenix’s ABC station, KNXV-TV. Before arriving at CBS11, she had worked at a rival Phoenix station. As of this writing, CBS11 still hasn’t announced a replacement for O’Kelley.

JEFF PAUL -- He joined the CBS11 reporting staff in December 2014 and left in March of 2018 to become a Los Angeles-based correspondent for Fox News Channel.

CORY SMITH -- The NBC5 anchor/reporter left in September to join the news staff of Washington, D.C.’s WRC-TV. Both stations are owned by NBC Universal. Smith joined NBC5 in December 2015. Besides anchoring on weekends, he reported three days a week.

For those keeping score, that’s five exits from CBS11, four apiece from Fox4 and TEGNA8, and just one from NBC5. That makes it a relatively lean year for departures, although a big one is coming in March when anchor John McCaa calls it a day at TEGNA8.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Wed., Dec. 17-19) -- latest Survivor finale propels CBS to doubleheader prime-time win

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In the “reality-competition” series realm, CBS’ Survivor is the resident grandpappy.

Still, its ratings remain spry, even among younger viewers. Wednesday’s latest season finale topped all prime-time attractions in both total D-FW viewers (189,792) and with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds (54,346).

Fox4’s local newscast then won the 9 p.m. hour in both ratings measurements, with 182,762 total viewers and 45,288 within the 18-to-49 age range.

Tuesday’s prime-timers were paced by CBS’ 7 p.m. rerun of NCIS in total viewers (217,908) and again Fox4’s 9 p.m. news among 18-to-49ers (42,269).

NBC’s 8 p.m. two-hour season finale of The Voice continued to skew alarmingly old, at least in the Peacock’s view. Of its 210,878 total viewers, just 30,192 were of the 18-to-49 persuasion.

In Monday’s nighttime festivities, ESPN’s Monday Night Football clash between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers led all TV attractions with an average of 400,670 total viewers and 156,998 in the 18-to-49 realm. That’s one of MNF’s best showings of the season in a year where the NFL has rebounded in the ratings.

Here are the local news derby results for Monday through Wednesday.

Monday -- NBC5 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 won among 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 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. spoils went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Tuesday -- NBC5 and CBS11 again shared the 10 p.m. lead in total viewers, with Fox4 again prevailing among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 notched twin wins at 6 a.m. CBS11 ran first at 6 p.m. in total viewers and tied for the 25-to-54 top spot with Fox4.

NBC5 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m. while sharing the 25-to-54 wreath with Fox4.

Wednesday -- Fox4 and NBC5 shared first place in total viewers while Fox4 was alone atop the 25-to-54 heap.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. races. At 6 p.m., NBC5 drew the most total viewers and Fox4 reigned with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 hasn’t lost a single weekday at 6 a.m. in either ratings measurement since March 30th, Good Friday. That’s unheard of. In contrast, TEGNA8 was in the ratings poor house for the past three weekdays, going winless in all four major combat zones.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Sun., Dec. 12-16) -- big droop-off for Cowboys-Colts

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The Dallas Cowboys lately had been on weekly year-to-year ratings rises until Sunday’s Game 14 stinker against the Indianapolis Colts put the brakes on that.

A 23-0 noon-starting road loss on Fox, the team’s first shutout since Nov. 16, 2003, averaged 1,026,278 D-FW viewers and 374,381 within the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old age range.

Last season’s Game 14, played on NBC’s grand Sunday Night Football stage, drew 1,274,856 total viewers, with 546,105 in the 18-to-49 realm. The Cowboys beat the Oakland Raiders 20-17 to keep their slim post-season hopes alive. This time around, Dallas could have clinched the NFC East title, but seemed disinterested from start to finish.

CBS’ Pittsburgh Steelers-New England Patriots matchup ranked as Sunday’s runner-up NFL attraction with 520,168 total viewers. NBC’s Sunday Night Football clash, with the Philadelphia Eagles upsetting the heavily favored Los Angeles Rams, came in third with 456,905 total viewers.

Vying for prime-time scraps were Fox’s Miss Universe pageant (140,586 total viewers) and ABC’s reprise of The Sound of Music (119,498).

Absent any college football attractions of note, Saturday played dead in the ratings.

On Friday, Fox’s 7 p.m. episode of Last Man Standing reigned as the top prime-time performer in total viewers (196,820) while Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast was tops among 18-to-49-year-olds (39,250).

Fox’s final Thursday Night Football matchup of the season, a down-to-the-wire thriller between the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, had big returns with 513,139 total viewers and 211,344 in the 18-to-49 realm.

Finally, Wednesday night’s prime-time players were led by Fox4’s 9 p.m. news in total viewers (196,820) and ABC’s 8 p.m. episode of Modern Family among 18-to-49ers (54,346).

Here are the Wednesday-Friday local news derby results.

Wednesday -- TEGNA8 swept the 10 p.m. races in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 likewise ran the table at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. TEGNA8 and CBS11 tied for the 6 p.m. top spot in total viewers while TEGNA8 had first place to itself with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Thursday -- CBS11 had twins at 10 p.m. in a downsized three-way race while the Chargers and Chiefs kept playing on Fox/Fox4.

Fox4 again ran away with the 6 a.m. ratings and NBC5 notched a doubleheader win at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. spoils went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and the Peacock among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Friday -- Two stations took all the golds.

Fox4 had twin wins at 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. NBC5 swept the 6 p.m. face-offs and had the most total viewers at 5 p.m. The Peacock and Fox4 shared the 5 p.m. lead with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Mainstay Fox4 reporter Fil Alvarado retiring after 33 years in the trenches


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Street reporter Fil Alvarado, whose career at Fox4 dates back to 1985, has decided to retire at age 70.

In a brief memo to his colleagues obtained by unclebarky.com, Alvarado writes, “This is not goodbye . . . not yet. But I want to let you know I will retire at the end of the year. I’ll be here everyday until my last day Jan. 3. So I’ll save my goodbyes and farewell wishes until then.”

He concluded with, “Well then, see ya’ll Monday.”

Alvarado, who also has reported for the WBAP and KRLD radio stations, grew up on his grandfather’s farm in the Texas Panhandle.

“If we didn’t earn enough doing chores, my friends and I would go to the local newspaper office, buy a stack of papers wholesale and sell them up and down Main Street,” he says in his Fox4 bio. “We’d split the profits, go to the drugstore for a milkshake and dash across the street in time to catch a movie.”

In June 2016, Alvarado was among 13 honorees at the Press Club of Dallas’ annual North Texas Legends event. In his acceptance speech, he noted that many people tell him they’ve watched him since they were kids. “At least they’re still watching,” he said. “I think I’m working on my third generation now.”

Alvarado said that pounding the pavement day after day, night after night had not worn him down. He advised, “Pick your head up once in a while and take a look at all the people who support you.”

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

NBC5's Bobbie Wygant finally gets it all down on paper


Bobbie Wygant at the 2007 Lone Star Emmys event. Photo: Ed Bark

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Entertainment reporter Bobbie Wygant arrived at the then WBAP-TV (Ch. 5) before they turned the lights on.

It was 1948, and now she’s finally looking back via her new book, Talking to the Stars, which weighs in at 286 pages and over 500 photos.

Would you like a copy? Bobbie will be signing them this weekend.

On Saturday, Dec. 15th, she’ll be at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore located at the Shops at North East Mall, 861 North East Mall Blvd. in Hurst (76053). Her appearance is from 1 to 3 p.m.

Or on Sunday, Dec. 16th, starting at 1 p.m., you can find her at Barnes & Noble’s 3060 Mockingbird Lane store in Dallas (75205).

I’ve interviewed Bobbie on several occasions over the years. Here’s a link to a March 8, 1981 piece -- “Ch. 5’s Bobbie Wygant kept seeing stars and knew what to do with them” -- in which she talks about her highs and lows with various celebs, and those very early days at Ch. 5 (now branded as NBC5).

Bobbie remains a part-time contributor to the station. Anchor Clarice Tinsley recently celebrated her 40th anniversary at Fox4, but Bobbie is now in year 70 at the only TV station she’s ever called home.

Congratulations, Bobbie, on another milestone achievement. And best of luck with those book sales.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Dec. 11) -- another crime blotter bonanza for CBS

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CBS’ again made crime pay Tuesday with a sweep of D-FW’s prime-time ratings.

NCIS as usual led the way with 281,172 total viewers, followed by FBI (253,055) and NCIS: New Orleans (203,850).

NBC had decent returns from The Voice (182,762 viewers) and an 8 p.m. Christmas special starring that show’s Season 12 winner, 14-year-old ventriloquist Darci Lynne (140,586). Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then nearly beat the competing NCIS: NO with a haul of 182,762 viewers.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, ABC’s 7 p.m. episode of The Conners easily scored highest with 48,307 viewers while Darci Lynne plummeted to a prime-time low of 9,058 viewers. Guess the “kids” aren’t into dummies.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 and CBS11 tied for the top spot in total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 won with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions and added twin wins at 5 p.m.

Fox4, NBC5 and TEGNA8 ended up in a three-way tie at 6 p.m. in total viewers; Fox4 and TEGNA8 shared the lead among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Also of note: the recently added 9 a.m. hour of Fox4’s Good Day continued to make life miserable for the time slot’s other local production, TEGNA8’s Good Morning Texas.

Among 25-to-54-year-olds Tuesday, Good Day amassed 65,861 viewers from 9 to 10 a.m. while GMT barely registered with 6,038 in also running behind CBS’ double dose of Let’s Make a Deal (11,154) and NBC’s third hour of Today (17,181).

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Dec. 10) -- NFL remains in charge

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The Seattle Seahawks in their day-glo uniforms weren’t a particularly pretty sight. Nor was the game itself, in which both starting quarterbacks stunk during Seattle’s 21-7 thrashing of the visiting Minnesota Vikings.

No matter, though. ESPN’s Monday Night Football continued to set the prime-time pace, averaging 295,231 D-FW viewers and 105,672 within the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old age range.

CBS’ 9 p.m. episode of Bull ranked as the runner-up attraction in total viewers with 231,967 while the network’s 7 p.m. entry, The Neighborhood, ran second among 18-to-49ers (51,326).

Over on Fox Sports Southwest, the surging Dallas Mavericks’ latest home win averaged 42,176 total viewers and 24,154 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Here are Monday’s local news derby results,

CBS11 rolled up twin wins at 10 p.m., running first in both total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept both the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions while adding a 6 p.m. win among 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Sun., Dec. 3-9) -- Cowboys still zooming on up

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Last year at this time, the downtrodden Dallas Cowboys hit a season low when a 30-10 win over the New York Giants drew the smallest crowd of the 2017 regular season.

But Sunday’s Game 13, in which Dallas established a seeming iron grip on the NFC East division lead, had a solid case of ratings happy pants. Fox’s mid-afternoon to early evening national game, a 29-23 overtime win over the Philadelphia Eagles, averaged 1,349,626 D-FW viewers and 443,822 within the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old age range. That compares to just 904,507 total viewers for last year’s Game 13, with 321,422 in the 18-to-49 realm for a noon starter on Fox.

The Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day home win against the Washington Redskins is still this season’s high point, with 1,651,886 total viewers.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup, in which the Chicago Bears shackled the usually high-scoring Los Angeles Rams, ranked second for the day with 506,110 total viewers.

On Saturday, CBS’ Army-Navy game led all TV attractions with 217,908 total viewers. Army won 17-10, its third straight victory after losing 14 straight years to the Midshipmen.

Friday’s prime-time pacesetter in total viewers as usual was CBS’ Blue Bloods, with 231,967 viewers in the 9 p.m. hour. Fox’s 7:30 p.m. episode of The Cool Kids reigned among 18-to-49ers with 39,250.

OK, let’s just fast-forward to a catchup round for the Monday through Friday local news derby results. (Personal note: your friendly content provider is newly returned from Tulum, Mexico, where son Sam and his fiancee Chere were married Saturday in a magnificent beachside ceremony.)

Monday -- TEGNA8 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 led among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. competitions and also won with 25-to-year-olds at 5 p.m. NBC5 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m.

Tuesday -- CBS11 drew the most total viewers at 10 p.m. and Fox4 again was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. races. CBS11 ranked No. 1 in total viewers at 6 p.m. while Fox4 and NBC5 shared the 25-to-54 lead.

Wednesday -- Fox4 came within a hair of a very rare double grand slam, sweeping the 10 p.m., 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions while adding a 6 p.m. win with 25-to-54-year-olds. But TEGNA8 narrowly won in total viewers at 6 p.m., with Fox4 second.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 won a down-sized three way race in total viewers while NBC5 took the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 was otherwise occupied with its network’s dismal Tennessee Titans-Jacksonville Jaguars game.

Fox4 as usual/always had twin wins at 6 a.m. CBS11 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while the Peacock and TEGNA8 shared the 25-to-54 spoils. At 5 p.m., NBC5 won in total viewers and tied Fox4 for first place with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Friday -- Fox4 had another big day, winning across the board among 25-to-54-year-olds and also ranking first in total viewers at both 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. TEGNA8 broke the spell by drawing the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while NBC5 ran first in that measurement at 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Nov. 30-Dec. 2) -- Pats-Vikes top Sunday NFL menu

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Absent a Dallas Cowboys game, Sunday’s NFL ratings battle boiled down to Fox’s featured mid-afternoon “national” game vs. NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup.

Fox won, with the New England Patriots-Minnesota Vikings delivering 506,110 D-FW viewers while the Peacock’s Los Angeles Chargers-Pittsburgh Steelers game ran a competitive second with 442,846.

CBS’ two-hour Garth Brooks special also made some noise in the 7 to 9 p.m. slot, drawing 203,850 viewers to rank as Sunday’s top non-football draw.

Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, Pats-Vikings also was the top TV attraction with 181,152 viewers; Chargers-Steelers had 163,037. Brooks barely registered in this key demographic, falling to 27,173 viewers. ABC’s 9 p.m. Victoria’s Special in contrast had 57,365 viewers in the 18-to-49 realm, more than half of the show’s 105,288 total viewers. The “kids” know what they like.

On Saturday, an 11 a.m. start for the Oklahoma-Texas Big 12 conference championship showdown couldn’t stop the Sooners and Longhorns from piling up the day’s biggest audience with 456,905 total viewers on ABC. CBS’ following Georgia-Alabama SEC championship game pulled in second with 351,465 viewers.

Fox’s Big Ten championship encounter between Ohio State and Northwestern ruled the prime-time Nielsens with 203,850 viewers.

Friday’s prime-time ratings were paced by CBS’ 9 p.m episode of Blue Bloods in total viewers (231,967) and Fox’s Washington-Utah Pac-12 championship game in the 18-to-49 age range (36,230 viewers).

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

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

Fox4 ran the table at both 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. while NBC5 scored twin wins at 6 p.m.

LOCAL TV NEWS NOTE -- Fox4 will mark anchor Clarice Tinsley’s 40th anniversary at the station with a half-hour special scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 4th at 6:30 p.m.

Tinsley arrived in D-FW from a Milwaukee television station and has no plans to retire anytime soon. It’s not out of the question that she’ll someday celebrate a half-century at Fox4. She continues to anchor, most notably as a solo on Fox4’s 10 p.m. news, while also contributing social media segments on the station’s 9 p.m. newscasts.

Congratulations to Clarice, the only local news anchor who pre-dates your friendly content provider’s 1980 debut as TV critic for The Dallas Morning News. Only NBC5 entertainment reporter Bobbie Wygant has been on the air longer in this market. But she’s been a part-time contributor for many years while Tinsley remains a full-time presence.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net