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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., May 28) -- Voice hits more high notes while Body of Proof signs off by winning timeslot

NBC’s The Voice again ranked as prime-time’s biggest draw Tuesday -- to the tune of 323,557 D-FW viewers in the 8 p.m. hour.

At 9 p.m., Body of Proof had its series finale -- at least on ABC. The Dana Delany crime-stopper drew 199,642 viewers to win its time slot against Fox4’s local newscast (192,758) and the premiere of CBS’ six-part “reality” series Brooklyn DA (151,452). There reportedly is still interest in Body of Proof among some cable networks.

A repeat of CBS’ NCIS won at 7 p.m. with 240,947 viewers while ABC’s two-hour warm weather re-launch of Extreme Weight Loss bombed with just 75,726 viewers from 7 to 9 p.m.

Over on TNT, Game 4 of the Pacers-Heat Eastern Conference Finals averaged 165,221 viewers, peaking from 10 to 10:24 p.m. to outdraw local late night newscasts.

Tuesday’s time slot winners among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds were NBC’s 7 p.m. Voice recap, the 8 p.m. live results show and Fox4’s 9 p.m. news.

Here are the local news derby results:

WFAA8 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions while NBC5 ran the table at 5 p.m.

The 6 p.m. golds went to WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.


Walt Maciborski, who co-anchored CW33’s 9 p.m. newscasts before their makeover into Nightcap, will be joining Austin’s KEYE-TV in late June to co-anchor the CBS station’s 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. He left CW33 in August of last year to anchor at Fox affiliate WXIN-TV in Indianapolis.

Also, ex-CW33 sports anchor Desmond Purnell has joined the NFL Network after a stint at Fox Sports Southwest. He left CW33 in February 2011.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Mon., May 24-27) -- The Voice/Rangers pace Memorial night competition

NBC’s The Voice, with its final stages spilling beyond the “regular season,” rolled to another win on a Memorial night that also included the latest season premiere of ABC’s The Bachelorette.

Voice averaged 268,484 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m., with Bachelorette luring 185,873 in the same two-hour slot. The margin was much narrower among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. Voice had the edge with 124,387 viewers in this key demographic while Bachelorette drew 114,818.

The Texas Rangers had Monday’s second biggest overall audience with their 5-4 road loss at Arizona. The game averaged 227,179 total viewers, with Yu Darvish striking out a season high 14 but also yielding a tying two-run homer in the eighth.

Texas also lost the day end of a rare scheduled doubleheader. That one had 206,526 viewers, with both games carried by Fox Sports Southwest. Monday night’s Spurs-Grizzlies Western Conference Finals drew 192,758 viewers on ESPN. San Antonio closed out Memphis with a sweep to qualify for the NBA Finals.

Sunday’s Rangers game, an elongated extra inning loss at Seattle, averaged 199,642 viewers on FSS. That again made it the day’s top sports draw, with TNT’s Game 3 of the Heat-Pacers Eastern Conference Finals taking the silver (172,105 viewers) ahead of ABC’s Indianapolis 500 (117,031). The final round of The Colonial PGA tournament on CBS puttered along with 75,726 viewers.

Also Sunday, HBO’s first showing of Beyond the Candelabra (starring Michael Douglas as Liberace), drew 38,552 viewers in clubbing AMC’s competing 9 p.m. episode of Mad Men (9,638 viewers). The 10 p.m. repeat of Mad Men fared a bit better with 15,145 viewers.

Saturday’s Rangers win at Seattle drew 165,221 viewers on FSS. That punched them below ESPN’s Game 3 of Spurs-Grizzlies, which averaged 199,642 viewers.

TXA21’s telecast of Friday night’s Rangers win over the Mariners drew 185,873 viewers to out-pace TNT’s Game 2 of Heat-Pacers (130,800 viewers).

In the weekday local news derby results, all four major combatants took holiday knees on Memorial Day, leaving just Friday to be officially counted.

Results were split at 10 p.m., with CBS11 winning in total viewers and WFAA8 tops with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 as usual ran the table at 6 a.m. and WFAA8 added a pair of 6 p.m. golds.

Fox4 and CBS11 tied for the most viewers at 5 p.m.; the 25-to-54 crown at that hour went to Fox4.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., May 23) -- mixed results for summer newcomers

The 2012-13 TV season is officially over, as are the May “sweeps.” Still, only CBS went with wall-to-wall reruns Thursday night while its principal rivals loaded up on summertime newcomers and first-run episodes of warm weather returnees.

CBS still had some last laughs from 7 to 8 p.m., though, with repeats of The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men both winning their time slots in total viewers. Big Bang also ran first with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, but Fox’s second half-hour of a new Hell’s Kitchen then took down Two and a Half.

NBC’s back-to-back premiere episodes of the new Anne Heche comedy Save Me took the gas in prime-time’s first hour. Each half-hour drew a pint-sized 55,074 viewers to run a distant fourth in that measurement while likewise getting buried in the 18-to-49 Nielsens.

ABC’s regular time slot launch of Motive, which was sneak-previewed Monday, won the 8 p.m. hour in total viewers with 178,989. But Fox’s competing premiere of the reality series Does Someone Have to Go? won comfortably among 18-to-49-year-olds.

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast swept that time slot, with an overall haul of 206,526 viewers. ABC’s Season 4 premiere of Rookie Blue ran second at 9 p.m. in total viewers with 172,105. A new episode of NBC’s Hannibal edged RB for the silver among 18-to-49-year-olds.

With anchor vacations and days off beckoning on a post-sweeps Thursday, here’s how the local news derby played out.

WFAA8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 chalked up another doubleheader win at 6 a.m. NBC5 won all the marbles at 5 p.m. and WFAA8 did likewise at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Reporter Jonathan Betz is latest to leave WFAA8 newsroom (updated)


Another seasoned reporter is leaving Dallas-based WFAA8, although this time not for a position in public relations.

Jonathan Betz, who joined the ABC affiliate in March 2008, said Thursday on his Facebook page that he’s accepting a job in New York City.

“I can’t say exactly where I’ll be working yet, but I’ll still be doing the news,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity, and I’m extremely excited.” Betz said he’ll also miss “all the great people here -- especially at Channel 8.”

(It’s now been confirmed that Betz will be anchoring for Al Jazeera America when the channel launches at a still to be announced date after buying out Al Gore’s Current TV in early January. “Just like the rest of Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera America is committed to high-quality, objective and balanced investigative journalism,” the network says on its website.

Al Jazeera still has an overall perception problem, however, with Time Warner immediately announcing it will not carry the network after the Current deal became official.)

Betz joined the station from WWL-TV in New Orleans and also worked at KHBS/KHOG-TV in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He’s a Richardson High School graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast journalism and international relations from Syracuse University. Betz also has filled in as a weekend anchor at WFAA8.

WFAA8 news director Carolyn Mungo has informed WFAA8 staffers of Betz’s departure in a memorandum that, at his request, contained no further details on his NYC destination. The station has lost a number of veteran reporters in the past several years, most recently Brad Watson to a public relations position with Luminant Energy. Others leaving the station, all for PR posts, include Craig Civale, Chris Hawes, Cynthia Vega and Casey Norton.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

May sweeps: Fox4, WFAA8 are biggest winners while CBS11 touts year-to-year growth and NBC5 survives

WFAA8 reigned in the late night D-FW news wars while Fox4 romped through the early mornings in the May 2013 ratings “sweeps,” which ended Wednesday after 20 weekdays of warfare.

Both stations reclaimed titles they lost last May, with WFAA8 dethroning CBS11 in the total viewer Nielsens and Fox4 knocking NBC5 from the overall top spot at 6 a.m.

The 5 and 6 p.m. results were split, with three of the four stations getting a win in one of the two major ratings measurements. CBS11 is the only station to show year-to-year growth in all four major battlegrounds. And some of its growth spurts were eye-popping.

Here are the breakdowns, with ratings again taken to the third digit (.000) in order to break ties in either total viewers or 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). Gains or losses from May 2012 are shown in parentheses.

10 P.M.

Total Viewers
WFAA8 -- 218,986 (plus 32,544)
CBS11 -- 202,671 (plus 6,358)
Fox4 -- 138,304 (plus 19,690)
NBC5 -- 95,966 (minus 32,471)

WFAA8 -- 93,249 (plus 18,920)
Fox4 -- 75,541 (plus 7,711)
CBS11 -- 62,722 (plus 4,943)
NBC5 -- 47,429 (minus 10,560)

Comments: WFAA8’s performance was as stellar as NBC5’s was dismal. The Peacock suffered from the overall horrid prime-time performance of its network in the 9 p.m. hour, with its 9:45 to 10 p.m. lead-ins easily the market’s worst. CBS11 again inherited the best lead-in from its network, but WFAA8 was close behind in the total viewers it received from ABC.

WFAA8 otherwise had a clear advantage over its rivals among 25-to-54-year-olds while the closing 15 minutes of Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast and CBS entertainment programming tied for a distant second. NBC5 finished third at 10 p.m. in both measurements last May but this time ran completely out of the money with significant losses of audience. Lead-ins continue to play key roles in a station’s well-being despite remote controls at the ready. NBC5 (as well as Fox4 and CBS11) is owned-and-operated by its network. So any public complaining would result in 50 lashes -- or worse.

6 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 134,999 (plus 41,923)
WFAA8 -- 85,571 (plus 421)
NBC5 -- 77,447 (minus 18,512)
CBS11 -- 64,987 (plus 34,426)

Fox 4 -- 76,435 (plus 25,066
NBC5 -- 43,673 (minus 2,429)
WFAA8 -- 40,453 (minus 5,649)
CBS11 -- 25,846 (plus 10,890)

Comments: Fox4 has become a Colossus at this hour, even with regular co-anchor Lauren Przybyl on maternity leave for part of the May sweeps. The station also won the less-watched 4:30 to 6 a.m. segments by comfortable margins in both ratings measurements while CBS11 surprisingly ran second across the board in those 90 minutes.

On the downside, WFAA8 has lost the considerable momentum it had a year ago, particularly in the key 25-to-54 demographic. Perhaps the show has gotten too slap-happy? NBC5 fell from first to third in total viewers, but moved ahead of WFAA8 among 25-to-54-year-olds. CBS11 has replaced WFAA8 as the new station with momentum mojo in the early mornings -- at least among the also-rans. But it will be hard for anyone to catch Fox4, No. 1 by blowout margins with D-FW’s biggest viewer gains.

6 P.M.

Total Viewers
CBS11 -- 157,442 (plus 47,498)
WFAA8 -- 153,931 (plus 13,098)
NBC5 -- 114,691 (plus 3,122)
Fox4 -- 104,020 (plus 579)

Fox4 -- 49,367 (minus 2,483)
WFAA8 -- 49,129 (minus 284)
NBC5 -- 37,592 (plus 9,515)
CBS11 -- 29,632 (plus 15,157)

Comments: CBS11 impressively moved from third to first in total viewers with a mammoth audience increase compared to rival stations. And although still running last with 25-to-54-year-olds, it more than doubled its audience in this measurement. Fox4 kept its 25-to-54 crown by a paper-thin margin over WFAA8, with both stations slipping a bit year-to-year. NBC5’s pair of third-place finishes were offset somewhat by its audience increases, particularly with 25-to-54-year-olds.

5 P.M.

Total Viewers
NBC5 -- 107,394 (minus 16,098)
WFAA8 -- 103,470 (minus 13,003)
Fox4 -- 98,926 (minus 7,021)
CBS11 -- 91,422 (plus 32,691)

Fox4 -- 39,380 (minus 9,822)
NBC5 -- 36,071 (minus 101)
WFAA8 -- 32,256 (minus 12,733)
CBS11 -- 23,282 (plus 8,296)

Comments; And the last shall be first. CBS11 logged another pair of fourth-place finishes, but was the only station to show year-to-year audience increases. NBC5 and Fox4 respectively won the total viewer and 25-to-54 competitions while suffering significant viewer depreciations. WFAA8 also took it on the chin in both ratings measurements.


*** Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast averaged 173,964 total viewers and 81,175 in the key 25-to-54 demographic. Both marks exceeded the audience levels for its 6 a.m. or 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. The 9 p.m. edition also had more total viewers than the NBC network at that hour and beat both NBC and CBS among 25-to-54-year-olds. And among 18-to-49-year-olds (main advertiser target for entertainment programming), Fox4 finished just a hair behind No. 1 ABC.

In the pauper division, CW33’s 9 p.m. Nightcap newscast averaged 11,015 total viewers, with 5,903 of them 25-to-54-year-olds and 6,379 in the 18-to-49 age range.

*** Nightcap was a ratings Gulliver, though, compared to KTXD-TV’s (Ch. 47) locally produced programming. D magazine’s 9 to 11 a.m. weekday D: The Broadcast averaged 1,101 total viewers (in a market of 6.84 million). The 6 p.m. edition of KTXD’s The Texas Daily drew 2,960 viewers while the 9:3 p.m. encore edition had 2,616.

D: The Broadcast’s principal local competition, WFAA8’s 9 to 10 a.m. Good Morning Texas, averaged 48,189 viewers in that hour. Fox4’s syndicated Kelly & Michael and NBC5’s third hour of Today tied for the overall 9 a.m. lead with 61,958 viewers. Kelly & Michael was tops with 18-to-49-year-olds while GMT fell to a third-place tie with CBS’ Let’s Make a Deal.

*** NBC5’s local First At Four newscast led the 4 p.m. parade with 89,495 total viewers, beating CBS11’s second-place local edition (75,726 viewers). WFAA8’s syndicated Katie ran fourth overall, tying the first half-hour of Fox4’s long-running and now slumping Judge Judy but finishing fourth from 4:30 to 5 p.m. Katie moved up to third, ahead of CBS11’s news, in both the 25-to-54 and 18-to-49 measurement.

*** At 6:30 p.m., CBS11’s syndicated Wheel of Fortune continued to roll in total viewers, drawing more than twice as many -- 247,831 to 117,031 -- as WFAA8’s Entertainment Tonight. Fox4’s Access Hollywood won among 18-to-49-year-olds, with Wheel the runner-up.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., May 15) -- audience numbers for five hours of head-to-head storm coverage/competition


A telling image on WFAA8 late Wednesday night. Photo: Ed Bark

Network entertainment lineups were largely obliterated -- and rightly so -- by continuous coverage of the lethal tornadoes and storms that caused heavy damage and left at least half a dozen dead in North Texas Wednesday night.

Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 all provided continuous coverage from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. before Fox4 and WFAA8 went to entertainment programming. We’re going to give you an hour-by-hour breakdown of the viewing totals for that period.

But first let’s note that local television news can be a very valuable asset in times like these. This is difficult, demanding coverage, with storms hitting and missing over a wide viewing area while weathercasters, anchors and reporters keep up as best they can.

On Wednesday, I thought NBC5 had the best and most vivid overall coverage, with the market’s newest chief meteorologist, Rick Mitchell, making his first major imprint as a steady and knowledgeable hand who looks to be a very able successor to D-FW weather dean David Finfrock.

WFAA8 and CBS11 were at worst just a step behind NBC5 while Fox4 lagged in terms of both pictures and visible reporters on the ground. Much of Fox4’s coverage during the key breaking moments was via telephone, with the same grainy storm footage recycled over and over throughout the night. TV isn’t radio, but Fox4 too often seemed more audio than visual -- at least in comparison with its three rivals. Still, all four stations put their heads down and went to work. That’s commendable and it’s also the main takeaway from all of this.

Yes, some viewers will carp about missing their favorite entertainment shows. On Wednesday, they included new episodes of ABC’s Modern Family and Nashville, NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and Chicago Fire, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and CBS’ Criminal Minds and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (which were re-routed in whole or part to sister station TXA21). But Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 were right to turn their full attention to a very significant weather emergency. Imagine the outcry -- let alone the blow to a newsroom’s morale -- if one of them had stuck with regular programming while tornadoes were tearing up Hood County.

Now here are the D-FW ratings in total viewers for each of the five hours of head-to-head coverage:

8 to 9 P.M.

Fox 4 -- 357,978
CBS11 -- 337,326
WFAA8 -- 309,789
NBC5 -- 234,063

9 to 10 P.M.
WFAA8 -- 364,863
Fox4 -- 330,442
CBS11 -- 296,021
NBC5 -- 254,715

10 to 11 P.M.
WFAA8 -- 309,789
Fox4 -- 247,831
CBS11 -- 240,947
NBC5 -- 206,526

11 P.M. to Midnight
WFAA8 -- 172,105
Fox4 -- 110,147
NBC5 -- 103,263
CBS11 -- 96,379

Midnight to 1 A.M.
WFAA8 -- 117,031
Fox4/NBC5 -- 75,726 each
CBS11 -- 68,842

Email comment or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., May 14) -- NCIS again leads way

It was business as usual for CBS’ NCIS.

The network’s 10th season finale of its most popular crime drama amassed 426,820 D-FW viewers in the 7 p.m. hour Tuesday, wiping out the combined opposition from ABC’s Wipeout (82,610), Fox’s Season 10 kickoff of So You Think You Can Dance (110,147) and NBC’s repeat of The Voice (137,684).

NCIS: Los Angeles then tied a new 8 p.m. hour of The Voice, with each show luring 302,905 viewers opposite ABC’s Dancing with the Stars results show (234,063). The last episode of CBS’ canceled Golden Boy won at 9 p.m. with 185,873 viewers.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, the golds went to NCIS, The Voice and Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast.

On Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers’ late-starting, extra inning comeback win at Oakland averaged 178,989 total viewers.

Everyone came up a winner in Tuesday’s four-way local news derby results.

On the 14th weekday of the May “sweeps,” CBS11 won in total viewers at 10 p.m. while WFAA8 ran first among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 notched another doubleheader win at 6 a.m. and also had the most total viewers at 5 p.m., where the 25-to-54 gold went to NBC5.

WFAA8 had the most overall viewers at 6 p.m.; Fox4 and NBC5 tie for the lead with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., May 13) -- HIMYM scores with season-ending reveal

CBS’ Season 8 finale of How I Met Your Mother outdrew NBC’s competing The Voice Monday night by at last revealing -- the mother.

No need to spoil it yet, save to say the designated actress likely won’t ring a bell with at least 99 out of 100 viewers. But whatever the case, HIMYM lured 275,368 D-FW viewers from 7 to 7:30 p.m. in outpointing the first half hours of both The Voice (254,715) and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (240,947). CBS won that slot by a much wider margin among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

The Voice then ran first from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in both ratings measurements. And at 9 p.m., ABC’s season finale of Castle easily clasped both golds. On Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers’ late-starting road loss at Oakland averaged 137,684 total viewers.

In Monday’s local news derby results, the 13th weekday of the May “sweeps” turned out to be a big one for WFAA8. The station swept the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Nielsens in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 as usual claimed the other two firsts at 6 a.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., May 10-12) -- strong finishing kick for Survivor

The pathfinder of “reality-competition” series can still pack a punch at crunch time.

Long before American Idol, The Voice and Dancing with the Stars, CBS set sail with Survivor back in May 2000. Its 26th edition, Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites, dominated Sunday’s prime-time Nielsens with its two-hour finale and followup reunion hour.

The finale drew 268,484 D-FW viewers before the reunion held pretty steady with 206,526. The next most-watched attraction, ABC’s two-hour, season finale of Revenge, had 144,568 viewers from 8 to 10 p.m.

Both Survivors also won their time slots among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

Earlier Sunday, the Texas Rangers’ daytime spanking of the Astros on Fox Sports Southwest drew 172,105 total viewers. That matched the audience for ABC’s overtime NBA playoff game between the victorious Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. The PGA’s Players Championship on NBC , with Tiger Woods winning and Sergio Garcia tanking, averaged a solid 123,916 viewers.

Saturday night’s Rangers win, with ratings magnet Yu Darvish pitching, inflated to 213,410 viewers on FSS.

Friday night’s Rangers victory on TXA21 matched that total and won its time slot in the 8 to 10:15 p.m. portion, even beating CBS’ Blue Bloods by a comfortable margin in the 9 p.m. hour. That somewhat cannibalized the lead-in for CBS11’s 10 p.m. newscast in another of its tight total viewers fights with WFAA8. But CBS11 won anyway while NBC5 took a rare gold among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

In Friday’s other local news derby results -- on the 12th weekday of the May “sweeps” -- CBS11 also had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. But the day otherwise belonged to Fox4. The station ran the table at both 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. , and added a 6 p.m. win in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

D-FW news notes: starring Gary Cogill, Shon Gables


Gary Cogill with Courtney Kerr and Lisa Pineiro. Photo: Ed Bark

Gary Cogill popped in to co-host KTXD-TV’s (Ch. 47) D: The Broadcast Friday morning, and in the process took a shot at his old employer.

The former longtime WFAA8 movie critic and sometime host of the station’s Good Morning Texas is now a movie producer via Dallas-based Lascaux Films. The company recently wrapped production in Vancouver on its first feature film, Words and Pictures. Directed by Fred Schepisi (Roxanne, Six Degrees of Separation), the romantic comedy has two estimable stars in Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche.

Cogill, seated between regular co-hosts Courtney Kerr and Lisa Pineiro, noted that he had brought some behind-the-scenes still from the film.

“You know there’s another station I could have gone to -- and I did not,” he added.

The reference clearly was to WFAA8 and GMT, which airs directly opposite the first hour of D: The Broadcast at 9 a.m. weekdays. The latter program slowly has gotten better, with oft-pointed conversation and a better mix of guests that on Friday included Temple Grandin. But it remains deep in hiding, according to the D-FW Nielsen ratings. Thursday’s program as usual registered “hashmarks” (no measurable audience) while that day’s GMT had 41,305 total viewers.

Former WFAA8 news personalities are very much the rule rather than the exception at KTXD, whose other homegrown program, The Texas Daily, is teeming with them. Cogill also appears on Texas Daily, along with rotating ex-WFAA-ers such as Tracy Rowlett, Troy Dungan, Iola Johnson, Debbie Denmon, John Criswell, Midge Hill, Phyllis Watson, Jolene DeVito, Robert Riggs and John Sparks. Former WFAA8 anchor Jeff Brady is the everyday host of the program.


Still very much entangled in legal matters with her second ex-husband, WFAA8 weekend Daybreak anchor Shon Gables has put together some short “Confessions of a News Anchor” videos. They portray her as terminally exhausted, but in an intended comedic way. And they’re pretty entertaining.

Here are a couple of them, with the second one intentionally accentuating the audio in an otherwise pitch black setting.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., May 9) -- death knell for Hannibal

NBC had high hopes for its very first serial slasher series.

Showtime’s Dexter has had a long, gainful run (which will end this summer) while Fox found its only midseason success story in The Following. But the Peacock’s Hannibal has been bleeding audience faster than its namesake can whip up a sumptuous dinner of human organs. And Thursday’s ratings for Episode 6 surely were proof positive that Lecter’s a goner.

The national Nielsens were bad enough, with Hannibal deeply buried at 9 p.m. in both total viewers and, more importantly, advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. But the D-FW numbers were even more dismal.

On the 18-to-49 scorecard, Hannibal inherited a time-slot winning 98,871 viewers from NBC’s penultimate one-hour episode of The Office. Hannibal then proved to be an immediate and stunning turnoff, drawing a sub-minuscule 6,379 viewers in this key demographic. That buried Hannibal deeply in last place among the Big Four broadcast networks. Its 41,305 total viewers further sealed the coffin. In contrast, CBS’ Elementary won the 9 p.m. slot with 282,252 total viewers.

Earlier in prime-time, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory again dominated the first half-hour of Fox’s American Idol in both total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds. Idol then held off CBS’ Two and a Half Men from 7:30 to 8 p.m. to win that hour across the board.

CBS’ Person of Interest had the most total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour while ABC’s Scandal topped the 18-to-49 numbers at 9 p.m. in a tight fight with Fox4’s local newscast.

Here are the four-way local news derby results for the 11th weekday of the May “sweeps.”

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but WFAA8 was tops among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. Put on a starvation diet via its Hannibal lead-in, NBC5 never had a chance. The fourth-place station’s 61,958 total viewers were a stark contrast to front-running CBS11’s 227,179.

Fox4 racked up another doubleheader win at 6 a.m. while NBC5 swept the 5 p.m. competitions. The golds at 6 p.m. went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

NOTE TO READERS: Three nights worth of full immersion in the late night newscasts of Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 have proven to be more than enough. So I’m going to catch up on other stuff and re-visit them again during the November “sweeps” for more brain-taxing, time-consuming editions of “This Just In: A Night in the Lives of D-FW’s Late Night Newscasts.”

It’s instructive to keep tabs on them and see if there’s anything markedly different. But aside from some seemingly solid new reporters working nightside, not much has changed in terms of story choices and presentation. Thanks for your understanding and continued readership.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

CW33's Daniel Novick latest to join PR parade


Reporter Daniel Novick, who survived CW33’s transition to the comedy-infused 9 p.m. Nightcap (“A Different Kind of Newscast”), has decided to make a career change.

He’s shifting to public relations, a move made by a growing number of D-FW reporters in the past couple of years.

Novick, who joined CW33 in spring 2011, left Thursday to join the Dallas-based GolinHarris PR firm. He’ll be working with the company’s Texas Instruments account, Novick said in an email reply. On its Twitter account, GolinHarris describes itself as a “holistic communications firm designed and built to help clients win in a complex digital world.”

“It certainly isn’t easy leaving TV news and CW33, but it’s what is best for me and my family,” Novick said. “I have good friends at CW33, I believe in the Nightcap product and I wish them nothing but the best of luck.”

Novick also has worked at El Paso’s KFOX-TV and was an intern for KTBC-TV in Austin while studying broadcast journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

This just in: a night in the lives of D-FW's late night newscasts (Wednesday, May 8)


NBC5’s Omar Villafranca mimics “Mesh Mask Bandit.” Photo: Ed Bark

NBC5’s Omar Villafranca has become a sturdy member of the station’s late night pavement-pounding crew. Unfortunately, management likes its reporters to use illustrative props whenever possible. Which can lead to some rather ridiculous visuals.

On Wednesday’s 10 p.m. edition, Villafranca brought viewers news of the still at large “Mesh Mask Bandit,” who supposedly has robbed 18 area banks since New Year’s Eve.

“It’s become his trademark. But it’s also become a problem for investigators,” Villafranca said. Just in case you didn’t believe him, he put some mesh between himself and the camera. The above picture resulted, making him look something like Jeff Goldblum in the early stages of becoming The Fly.

Villafranca’s NBC5 colleague, Ben “Show and Tell” Russell, was no match for him on this night. Russell regularly deploys a white board and grease pencil to further illustrate his stories. He’s also been known to pop out of a woodsy setting to illustrate the possible whereabouts of a lawbreaker on the lam. But on Wednesday night, the best he could do was brandish a copper tube to bring home his story about rampaging copper thieves. Russell also showed a locked gate during his live shot. But gamesmanship, set and match go to Villafranca, who now also has a nice entry for NBC5’s goofball Christmas reel. Assuming that stations still do that.

It wasn’t much of a night for any of D-FW’s four major TV news providers. NBC5’s newscast was loaded with briefs and maps reminiscent of the old NBC5. It even pretty much gave the rip ’n’ read brush-off to the fave rave story of the day -- a video gone viral of Duncanville High School sophomore Jeff Bliss railing against his World History teacher after being kicked out of class.

Fox4 led its 9 p.m. newscast with an extensive portion of the 90-second cell phone video, which was secretly shot by a classmate while Bliss said, “You’ve got to take this job serious. This is the future of this nation.” And furthermore, “If you would like, I will teach you a little more about how to teach a friggin’ class.”

Reporter Calvert Collins did a separate one-on-one interview with Bliss, as did WFAA8’s Jason Whitely. He has no apologies after dropping out of school for a year and purportedly learning the value of an education before re-enrolling. School administration responded with a statement that said students are encouraged to be engaged in the classroom, but in a perhaps “more appropriate” manner.

Not surprisingly, Fox4’s Clarice Tinsley made the Bliss manifesto Topic A of her first “Your Turn” segment. The viewer comments she read all sided with the student before Tinsley added, “This has blown up our Facebook page.”

Fox4 also gave heavy play to an in-studio interview with Emmitt and Pat Smith, whose annual charity events for under-served kids are this weekend. The Friday night gala at the Omni Hotel already is a sellout. But the station also wanted to promote its companion half-hour Red Carpet Live show, which will air at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Both Smiths repeatedly thanked Fox4 for its promotional efforts while sports anchor Mike Doocy and news anchor Steve Eagar also made nice.

CBS11 offered a brief taped interview with Emmitt Smith during Babe Laufenberg’s sports segment. It also joined its rivals in covering that day’s charity home run derby among Cowboys players. No station is more keen on keeping up with the Cowboys -- both past and present. Laufenberg, an ex-Cowboy, is still the team’s paid radio analyst, in tandem with Brad Sham.

Reporter Jack Fink of CBS11 had a followup to Tuesday’s worthy story on dogs with distemper being released for adoption to unsuspecting owners. The Fort Worth City Council now is asking for a “full briefing” on the matter from the city-owned animal shelter, he said.

WFAA8’s best enterprise story -- and there were precious few of them anywhere Wednesday night -- was Jason Wheeler’s journey to a “parched corner of Texas four hours west of Fort Worth.” In a piece titled “Toilet to Tap,” Wheeler told how residents of Odessa, Big Spring, Snyder, Midland and Stanton are bracing themselves for recycled drinking and bathing water that used to be sewage. The water will be treated and re-treated before being pumped back into these communities, authorities assure.

Some residents still vow not to drink it. Wheeler heard from them, too. But such measures likely will be fairly commonplace in the future, viewers were told.

The clear-looking recycled urine looked more appetizing than the Triple Atomic Burgers spotlighted in a WFAA8 sports story by Ted Madden. A handful of high school football players were brought in to try to eat the hot sauce-laced heart attackers as part of a charity that in small part benefited the Carrollton Fire Department.

Most of the imbibers ended up in tears, and the creator of the thing admitted that even he couldn’t choke one down. As noted previously, there just wasn’t much to work with Wednesday night.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., May 8) -- diminished Idol still gets by

Season 12 of Fox’s American Idol is its lowest-rated since Season 1, with reports now circulating that all four of this year’s judges may be dumped in an effort to start completely anew next January.

Still, Wednesday’s latest two-hour performance edition had enough juice to win its 7 to 9 p.m. slot with 344,210 total viewers. CBS’ Survivor: Caramoan and NBC’s one-hour results show for The Voice tied for second place in the first hour with 213,410 viewers each before CBS’ Criminal Minds was the 8 p.m. runner-up with 261,600 viewers.

The 9 p.m. top spot went to CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Its 261,600 viewers easily bested Fox4’s local newscast (192,758). But Idol and Fox4 news easily swept their time slots among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

On Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers’ 4-1 road win at Milwaukee averaged a nice-sized 206,526 total viewers.

Wednesday’s Nielsens also marked the halfway point in the May “sweeps” ratings period. Here are the local news derby results.

CBS11 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. CBS11 and WFAA8 are still locked in another of their tight battles for the top spot in total viewers. But WFAA8 remains solidly in front with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 breezed to another doubleheader win at 6 a.m., with both competitions already locked up. The station also won at 5 and 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic.

CBS11 ran first in total viewers at 6 p.m., with NBC5 taking the gold in that measurement at 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

This just in: a night in the lives of D-FW's late night newscasts (Tuesday, May 7)


Fox4 sports anchor Mike Doocy does 140 characters. Photo: Ed Bark

WFAA8’s Dale Hansen isn’t this market’s only madcap sports anchor.

Fox4’s Mike Doocy takes a weekly walk on his wild side in the station’s latest 9 p.m. newscast feature. “Twitter Tuesday,” ostensibly tied to sports tweets, also can run a little far afield.

The latest collection included a twit pic of Wilt Chamberlain and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Playboy Mansion; a squiggle on Carrie Underwood replacing Faith Hill as Sunday Night Football’s opening songstress; and a jab at the “Screaming Spurs Lady” (whose recurring audio pierced some ears during Monday night’s crazy double overtime game against Golden State).

Then Doocy pulled a Dale, gleefully jabbing at news anchor Heather Hays for her tweet on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s latest news-making activity. “Have to admit I feel bad about eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup while watching coverage about Gov. Christie’s secret weight loss surgery!” @heatherhaysfox4 said on her Twitter page.

“So condescending,” Doocy added.

Hays feigned innocence before Doocy re-loaded. “We’re not all as naturally slim as you are, Heather,” he said. “Save your judgment for somebody else.”

In print that sounds cold. In fact it was “all in good fun” -- as Doocy noted before his weekly toy was taken away until next Tuesday.

Doocy is doing what he can to “differentiate” his sports segments on a one-hour newscast that competes with network entertainment programming on ABC, CBS and NBC. This also has included extended sit-down live interviews that basically supplant traditional sports highlight packages. That stuff increasingly is saved for the half-hour 10 p.m. Fox4 newscast, which is more nuts and bolts while also tending to be a boil-down of what viewers already have seen in the preceding hour.

Fox4’s 9 p.m. editions otherwise tend to set their scenes with heavy doses of crime and tragedy. For the first 20 minutes Tuesday (which included one commercial break), viewers got a non-stop onslaught of bad news, beginning with a lawsuit against a bar that allegedly over-served a lethal drunk driver and ending with another West Nile virus death.

The Three Musketeers of the Apocalypse were Fox4’s principal nightside reporters -- Brandon Todd, Natalie Solis and Calvert Collins. All are very capable street reporters who have the luxury of extra time to tell their stories. Sometimes, though, the drumbeat is too incessant -- and the followup anchor Q&As too obviously scripted when they’re not merely extraneous. It’s not always this way, but the police blotter approach has been very noticeable so far this week.

Over on NBC5, co-anchor Meredith Land over-earnestly sought to have it both ways while teasing her station’s opener, titled “Story of Survival.”

It’s “a story that may anger you and inspire you all at the same time,” Land said before longtime Night Ranger Scott Gordon interviewed a woman who nearly died after being car-jacked a year ago. Nineteen surgeries later, Nina Cherry is still hobbled but talking about her experience for the first time, Gordon told viewers.

Cherry also talked about her road to recovery with CBS11 reporter Brian New. But that station led with a story that its rivals also ganged up on -- the surprise arrest of Michael Moore in connection with the murder six months ago of his teenage niece, Alicia Moore. WFAA8’s Jason Whitely had the best report on this topic, mainly because his station had footage of Michael Moore decorating cupcakes last February on what would have been Alicia’s 17th birthday.

“It hurts sometimes, but I’m over it now and it’s time to rejoice,” her now accused uncle said on camera. “You know, you’ve got to get over it and move on.”

WFAA8 topped its newscast with ever-dogged investigator Byron Harris’ confrontation with a roofing and restoration company co-owner suspected of bilking veterans by using them for hard labor and then not paying them.

Ron Robey and his two partners “have a history of turning up in places where tragedy has occurred, and leaving unhappy people in their wake,” Harris said in the set-up to his story.

After a stare-down in tragedy-struck West, TX, Robey told Harris that everyone had a right to their day in court and that he’d show up to be interviewed at WFAA8 studios. But that never happened, Harris said. And Robey’s lawyer then declined to comment.

CBS11’s best story came from i-Team member Jack Fink, who took a lengthy look at allegations that the city-run Fort Worth animal shelter lately has released a number of dogs with distemper to unwary adopters. Some have died and others had to have extensive medical treatments at their new owners’ expense. The issue came up Tuesday night at a Fort Worth City Council meeting. Fink solidly gave viewers both sides of the story.

NBC5 “consumer specialist” Deanna Dewberry, who’s being heavily used of late, had one of her lesser stories this time out. She tried to sell viewers on the heartbreak of high school prom-goers who got ripped off when trying to buy cheap knock-offs online. Some girls “were in tears over their dress drama,” Dewberry told viewers.

But they got over it. And all will live to see their next corsages.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., May 7) -- everyone's a winner

All four major broadcasters broke into Tuesday’s prime-time winners’ circle, with CBS’ NCIS and NBC’s The Voice as usual pacing the field.

NCIS was the overall biggest draw, with 433,705 D-FW viewers in the 7 p.m. hour. And The Voice lured the most advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, averaging 127,576 from 7 to 9 p.m.

CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles had the most total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour (337,326) before ABC’s Body of Proof and Fox4’s local newscast tied for the most viewers at 9 p.m. (192,758 apiece). CBS’ competing Golden Boy was right behind with 178,989. Fox4’s news stood solidly alone at the top among 18-to-49-year-olds.

ABC’s 7 p.m. finale of Splash was Tuesdays biggest prime-time loser with just 61,958 total viewers and 22,326 in the 18-to-49 demographic. On Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers’ dreary 6-3 road loss to the Milwaukee Brewers had a substandard 137,684 total viewers.

KTXD-TV (Ch. 47) had mixed results with its array of morning and early evening local programming. The new 7 to 8:30 a.m. simulcast of Mark Davis’ 660 AM radio program showed a slight pulse with 4,131 viewers before D magazine’s 9 to 11 a.m. D: The Broadcast again hit familiar territory with “hashmarks” (no measurable audience).

At 6 p.m., KTXD’s The Texas Daily continues to show a little traction of late. It had 10,326 viewers, improving a bit on its lead-in from a 5:30 p.m. repeat of The Rifleman (6,884 viewers). The 9:30 p.m. Texas Daily encore drew 2,754 viewers, falling from the 13,080 viewers fed to it by a preceding rerun of The Odd Couple.

CW33’s 9 p.m. Nightcap News fared better than usual, drawing 19,964 total viewers with basically all of them in the 18-to-49 age range, according to Nielsen.

Here are the four-way local news derby results on the ninth weekday of the 20-weekday May “sweeps.”

CBS11 edged WFAA8 at 10 p.m. in total viewers, but WFAA8 again won comfortably among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 as usual swept the 6 a.m. competitions. Unusually, though, WFAA8 fell to fourth in both ratings measurements while CBS11 took the bronzes behind runner-up NBC5.

The Peacock ran the table at 5 p.m.; the 6 p.m. golds went to WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

This just in: a night in the lives of D-FW's late night newscasts (Monday, May 6)


Pete Delkus had surprise visitor on new weather map. Photo: Ed Bark

WFAA8 had a nice, solid 10 p.m. newscast going for it Monday. But then the clown car rolled in and, well . . .

For the next five weeknights -- assuming stamina allows -- we’re again going to telescope the ratings “sweeps” content of Fox4’s 9 p.m. edition and the 10 p.m. offerings on NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11. Why? Because it’s instructive to see what they’re all doing -- both the good and the bad.

On WFAA8, weathercaster Pete Delkus obviously is still working the kinks out of his new electronic map. This is much to the amusement of sports anchor Dale Hansen, who guffawed loudly off-camera Monday night when Pete’s highs and lows suddenly gave way to a 2012 presidential election electoral map. It’s hard to do that. It’s also increasingly hard to know whether station management perceived it as another great TV “moment” that will have people talking -- or just a flat-out big embarrassment. Whatever the case, WFAA8 won big in Monday’s Nielsen ratings over arch-rival CBS11.

“No matter how bad it is tonight, we’re going to keep doing the forecast,” Delkus gamely said with a smile. Hansen, who regularly jabs Delkus -- and vice-versa -- possibly threw out his initial game plan to twit him over his earlier comment that “I’m kind of a girl.” This came in response to co-anchor Shelly Slater, who had noted “It’s girls’ night” before throwing it to Pete. (Slater filled in for an “on assignment” John McCaa while Gloria Campos was at her usual post.)

Hansen got through his sports segment without any intrusions from electoral maps or giant insect graphics. “Not nearly as flashy,” he then told Delkus. “But smooth. Clean.”

Delkus-Hansen antics long have been almost a nightly staple of WFAA8’s late nighters, although this particular screw-up should make a number of national blooper reels. Whether it devalued the newscast as a whole is debatable. But it certainly re-directed any morning-after “water cooler” talk.

Earlier in Monday’s newscast, Slater had an affecting followup story on Alexandra Goode. She’s a nearly 90-year-old concentration camp survivor whose life mission -- after finding God anew -- is a Russian Orphan Exchange program that has rescued some 250 kids, many with serious facial deformities. Some of them affectionately call her “Babushka.” And although the accompanying mood music got a bit sticky at times, this was a story well worth telling. And Slater told it well.

Reporter Teresa Woodard also had an interesting piece on Plano’s upcoming mayoral election between two black candidates. That will be a first for Plano, still perceived by some as white and affluent with perhaps an over-blown sense of entitlement.

All four stations pounced on Atmos Energy’s inadvertent over-charges of some 39,000 auto-pay customers in eight states, including Texas. All of their monthly bills were multiplied 10-fold. Both WFAA8’s Jason Wheeler and Fox4’s Natalie Solis noted the inherent problem of paying via a debit rather than a credit card.

Debit card payments are immediately subtracted from a customer’s checkbook balance, which can make over-charging all the more burdensome when other monthly bills are paid in the same manner. It was a key component of the story, but NBC5’s Tim Russell and CBS11’s Andrea Lucia failed to mention this in their 10 p.m. reports.

It was a particularly tough night for debit cards on Fox4, where reporter Shaun Rabb also cited their drawbacks in his well done story on a skimming operation in which PIN numbers were stolen from customers who paid at the pump. Crooks operating out of a New York hotel then drained the checking counts of their prey. Rabb told viewers that credit cards -- or using the credit option on a debit card -- do not play into thieves’ hands because no PIN numbers are involved.

Fox4 led its 9 p.m. newscast with Brandon Todd’s lengthy report on the abduction and sexual assault of a 14-year-old Richland Hills girl by a 26-year-old man who also had been arraigned on a similar charge in Ohio.

The station has a policy of not revealing the identities of minors in sexual assault cases, Todd said. But “in this case, Ruby Contreras and her father asked us to let her tell her own story so that other families would not suffer the same pain.”

Contreras met Stephan Cox via a social media app, and ultimately agreed to meet him after school. They were together for a week, during which she feared for both her and her family’s safety, according to Contreras. “I was scared. I mean, I was scared from the start,” she told Todd.

Co-anchor Heather Hays praised Contreras as a “very brave girl to share her story” (which she likewise shared with CBS11 reporter Brian New in a shorter account). It’s good that she was rescued by police and is back home safely. Still, both stories lacked even a smidgen of skepticism as to how Contreras could be so naive -- and why she took a presumably public bus ride to El Paso with this guy even after being “scared from the start.” Her father appeared briefly in both stories to say how happy he is to have his daughter back. Her takeaway from this experience: “Do not talk to any strangers at all,” she told Todd.

Fox4 also had another weekly installment of veteran reporter Saul Garza’s “What’s Buggin’ You?” This time he came to the aid of a mobile home dweller in Alvarado who objected to an Oncor utility pole that seemed to be leaning very precariously over her fence. As often happens, Garza made a call and the problem was fixed after more than a month of neglect in this case. He’s not shy about touting himself, or letting those he helps out sing his praises. But hey, the guy does get results, and this is one of the D-FW market’s best long-term news features.

NBC5 led with an extended story by “consumer specialist” Deanna Dewberry, who’s also become a standout in this field since her re-arrival last fall.

Dewberry, who previously spent seven years with WFAA8 and sister cable news network TXCN, had an intriguing look at the differences in tempered and laminated glass. In the case of a submerged vehicle, the former is easily broken while the latter is virtually impregnable. But automakers increasingly are turning to laminated glass for side windows -- largely because it keeps cars quieter, is more energy-efficient, can thwart break-ins and is more durable in rollover accidents, Dewberry said.

She tied her story to the November 2012 drowning deaths of a mother and her toddler daughter, with a small portion of their 911 call for help played while the auto they were in sunk deeper into a pond after being involved in an accident. Dewberry also interviewed the two young men who tried to rescue the pair before she ended the piece with tips on how to tell if your side car windows are tempered or laminated. It was a well-told story with useful information.

Later in NBC5’s newscast, reporter Omar Villafranca drew the short straw and headed to a Rockwall watching party attended by what co-anchor Brian Curtis termed a “small but rowdy bunch of supporters.”

No matter. A lone hamster in attendance would have been good enough when the objective is to promote your network’s most popular show, The Voice. And one of the surviving contestants down the home stretch is Rockwall High grad Amber Carrington.

No one remained by the time Villafranca did his live standup. But “they were very proud, Brian,” he assured.

Fox4 has long taken the same tack with American Idol, and would be doing so again if any of the finalists were within even a sniff of North Texas. But such reports can be painful -- particularly for the poor reporter.

“We are all pulling for Amber. That’s for sure,” Curtis added at story’s end. Well, not really.

WFAA8’s Campos also got in a mention of Dallasite Sean Lowe, star of the most recent The Bachelor and now fighting for his life on ABC’s ongoing Dancing with the Stars. But there was no attendant watch party -- or at least none the station attended.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., May 6) -- nice night for ABC

NBC’s The Voice usually rules Monday’s ratings roost in both key measurements opposite ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

But DWTS has finally waltzed to its first midseason win in total D-FW viewers in the 7 to 9 p.m. face-off between the two “reality competition” powerhouses.

The score was 309,789 viewers to 275,368, with ABC’s new episode of Castle then controlling the 9 p.m. hour with 323,557 viewers over CBS’ second-place Hawaii Five-0 (220,294 viewers).

CBS’ 7 p.m. episode of How I Met Your Mother upset The Voice’s first half-hour among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds, with DWTS dropping to a distant third in that 30-minute segment. The Voice then topped the 18-to-49 Nielsens from 7:30 to 9 p.m. before Castle took that prize in the final hour of prime-time.

Fox played dead all night with a 7 p.m. Rihanna special followed by a repeat of Bones. Each ran fifth in both ratings measurements behind ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox Sports Southwest’s Texas Rangers road game against the Cubs (a 9-2 loss).

Here are the local news derby numbers for the eighth weekday of the May “sweeps.”

Two stations amassed all the firsts. WFAA8 won comfortably at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. And Fox4 rolled to another doubleheader win at 6 a.m.

WFAA8 swept the 6 p.m. competitions and Fox4 did likewise at 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

D-FW TV news notes, featuring Mark Davis, Debbie Denmon

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Debbie Denmon and fiance; radio personality Mark Davis.

D-FW’s KTXD-TV (Ch. 47) is newly simulcasting Mark Davis’ 660 AM (The Answer) radio show, which debuted Monday, May 6th in the station’s 7 to 8:30 a.m. weekday slot.

It supplants religious programming and a 7:30 a.m. I Love Lucy rerun, with the syndicated America Now shortened to a half-hour (8:30 to 9 a.m.) leading into D magazine’s two-hour D: The Broadcast.

But in September, KTXD plans to air the new OK Magazine (an offshoot of the same-named publication) from 8:30 to 9 a.m., says station executive vice president and chief operating officer Phil Hurley. In an email response, Hurley said KTXD will be the Dallas bureau for the show, which also will have bureaus in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and Nashville.

KTXD is still a ME-TV affiliate, but its menu of TV oldies continues to shrink. It now skips ME’s entire 5 to 11 a.m. lineup of The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, My Three Sons, The Donna Reed Show, That Girl, I Love Lucy, two episodes of Leave It to Beaver, Perry Mason and The Rockford Files.

KTXD also opts out of two episodes of M*A*S*H from 6 to 7 p.m. in favor of The Texas Daily. And a repeat of that locally produced baby boomer-aimed newscast punches out The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Twilight Zone from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. weeknights.


In another KTXD development, rotating Texas Daily pundit Debbie Denmon accepted an on-air marriage proposal during Friday’s show from Richard Greagor. They’ve been dating since December 2011. Denmon, a former longtime WFAA8 anchor-reporter, is now director of communications for the Dallas County District Attorney’s office. Witnessing the bended-knee ring ceremony were Texas Daily host Jeff Brady and pundit Iola Johnson, also formerly of WFAA8.

Denmon said that Greagor is a technology administrator for IBM.

This is such an exciting time for us,” she told unclebarky.com. “I feel like I have been living the story of Job. God allowed me to lose some things, then blessed me with a great job and gave me a wonderful man who is about to become my husband. I feel like I have more now and my live is happier than it has been in several years.”

The live TV proposal was a genuine surprise, “Denmon said. “I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know when.”

No date has been set yet, but Denmon said she’s lobbying for an out-of-town “destination” wedding sometime in December of this year.

Go here if you’d like to watch the proposal proceedings on KTXD.


WFAA8’s Sunday morning Inside Texas Politics program is continuing after its veteran host, Brad Watson, recently left the station for a public relations position with Luminant Energy. Staffers Jason Whitely and Shelly Slater so far have taken a turn on the program.

“We will be plugging a couple of folks into that slot for the time being,” WFAA8 news director said in an email reply. Inside Politics precedes ABC’s This Week on Sunday mornings and airs during the station’s Daybreak program.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., May 3-5) -- bust-out numbers for Rangers/Derby

The Texas Rangers’ three-game sweep of the Red Sox paid big dividends over the weekend for Fox Sports Southwest and TXA21 while NBC’s annual marathon coverage of the Kentucky Derby also scored with viewers.

The 20-horse field didn’t break out of the gates until 5:33 p.m. for the two-minute race won by Orb (who tied 1923 champ Zev as the shortest-named Derby winner ever). The 5:30 to 5:45 portion of NBC’s coverage (Nielsen measures in 15-minute increments) peaked at 309,789 D-FW viewers. But the entire 5 to 6 p.m. hour also had handsome returns, averaging 282,252 viewers.

Saturday night’s Rangers game on FSS drew 268,484 viewers overall, with a peak crowd of 364,863 between 9 and 9:15 p.m. Nothing else in prime-time came close.

Friday’s Rangers win on TXA21 averaged 234,063 viewers, hitting a high of 302,905 between 9 and 9:15 p.m. The 9 to 10 p.m. portion of the game nipped CBS’ potent competing Blue Bloods.

Sunday’s marathon 9-inning finale, with Yu Darvish whiffing 14 Boston batters in 7 innings, pulled in 206,526 viewers with a peak audience of 282,252 between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. CBS’ 60 Minutes had the biggest prime-time Nielsens, averaging 240,947 viewers from 6 to 7 p.m.

CBS swept the prime-time hours in total viewers and also won among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds with the first half of The Amazing Race season finale. Sunday night’s other winners in this key demographic were Fox’s The Simpsons and The Cleveland Show from 6 to 7 p.m. and NBC’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice in the 8 to 10 p.m. slot.

Here are Friday’s local news derby numbers for the seventh weekday of the May “sweeps.”

CBS11 nipped WFAA8 for the top spot in total viewers at 10 p.m. but WFAA8 won comfortably among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 again cruised to twin wins at 6 a.m. and added a 5 p.m. win with 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m.; NBC5 claimed the other two golds, winning at 5 p.m. in total viewers and 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., May 2) -- Big Bang boom

It’s no longer a contest on Thursday nights. Fox’s once impregnable stronghold, American Idol, is now just cannon fodder for CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.

Easily the night’s most-watched TV attraction, Big Bang amassed 447,473 D-FW viewers from 7 to 7:30 p.m., with 223,258 of them in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range. Idol’s respective numbers for its first half-hour were 296,021 and 140,334.

Idol’s second half-hour edged CBS’ Two and a Half Men in both ratings measurements. CBS then won from 8 to 10 p.m. in total viewers with its crime time lineup of Person of Interest (330,442) and Elementary (247,831). The 18-to-49 golds in those hours went to ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast.

NBC’s fifth episode of Hannibal was a starvation diet for the Peacock, running a distant fifth across the board (behind CBS, ABC, the Rangers game on Fox Sports Southwest and NBC) in the 9 to 10 p.m. slot. But NBC’s preceding Parks & Recreation was prime-time’s lowest scorer in total viewers with just 55,074.

Here are the local news derby results for the sixth weekday of the May “sweeps.”

WFAA8 led at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. NBC5’s 10 p.m. edition continues to pay a fearsome price as the followup act to its network near-comatose 9 p.m. lead-ins. The station had a piddling 41,305 total viewers Thursday, compared to front-running WFAA8’s 268,484. In the 25-to-54 demographic, NBC5 drew 14,906 viewers while WFAA8 had 119,244.

Fox4 as usual swept the 6 a.m. competitions. But NBC5 rose up at 5 and 6 p.m., recording its first doubleheader sweeps in recent memory. It helps when you don’t have to rely on your network for support. NBC5 instead made its own lead-in bed with a 4 p.m. local newscast that also ran first in both ratings measurements.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., May 1) -- Fox/Fox4 ace it in prime-time

Fox’s American Idol and Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast held off CBS to sweep Wednesday’s prime-time Nielsens in both total D-FW viewers and advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

The latest two-hour Idol averaged 302,905 viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. opposite CBS’ Survivor: Caramoan (254,715) and Criminal Minds (296,021) before Fox4’s news beat CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation by a score of 275,368 viewers to 247,831.

The Fox/Fox4 lineup had an easier time among 18-to-49-year-olds, with nothing else close. Over on Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers’ 5-2 home loss to the White Sox averaged a solid 213,410 total viewers.

ABC’s premiere of the new sitcom Family Tools was pretty much DOA at 7:30 p.m. with just 75,726 total viewers and 28,705 in the 18-to-49 demographic. That put it fifth in both measurements behind Fox, CBS, NBC and the Rangers.

In a rarity, WFAA8’s homegrown Good Morning Texas won its 9 a.m. slot in total viewers (61,958) while running a close second behind Fox4’s syndicated Kelly & Michael among 18-to-49-year-olds. GMT’s local morning show competitor, Ch. 47’s D: The Broadcast, as usual had hashmarks (no measurable audience) on both scorecards from 9 to 11 a.m.

Here are the four-way local news derby results for the fifth weekday of the May “sweeps.”

WFAA8 nipped arch rival CBS11 at 10 p.m. in total viewers and bested Fox4 in a photo finish among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 added another pair of wins at 6 a.m., with the usual fourth-place station, CBS11, rising to the runner-up spot in total viewers by beating both NBC5 and WFAA8 by a hair.

CBS11 swept the 6 p.m. competitions while the 5 p.m. golds were split between WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., April 30) -- another NCIS cakewalk

Winding down its 10th season, one of the most phenomenal scripted series success stories in TV history just keeps on giving to CBS.

At an age when most dramas or comedies have greatly depleted ratings, NCIS seems to only be getting stronger. Tuesday’s new 7 p.m. episode racked up 495,662 D-FW viewers in wiping out the first hour of NBC’s The Voice (289,136 viewers).

The Voice still prevailed with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, but NCIS also carved out a nice chunk of ‘em. A show that used to skew north of Forest Lawn has also developed a sizable fan base of younger viewers in recent seasons.

CBS likewise won the 8 p.m. hour in total viewers with NCIS: Los Angeles (337,326) before the 9 to 10 p.m. portion of the Texas Rangers-White Sox game ran first with 220,294 viewers on Fox Sports Southwest. The 18-to-49 golds in those time slots went to the second hour of The Voice and the Rangers.

NBC’s first Tuesday 9 p.m. episode of Grimm, replacing the second hour of the canceled Ready For Love, ran fourth among the Big 4 broadcast networks in both ratings measurements. On ABC at that hour, Diane Sawyer’s ballyhooed interview with Amanda Knox placed second among the Big 4 in both total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds.

In the “hashmarks” realm (no measurable audience), D magazine’s 9 to 11 a.m. D: The Broadcast on Ch. 47 and the 9 p.m. Nightcap newscast on CW33 came up empty on both counts. As did Ch. 47’s live 6 p.m. edition of The Texas Daily in the total viewer and 18-to-49 Nielsens.

Here are the four-way local news derby results for the fourth weekday of the May “sweeps” ratings period.

WFAA8 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but WFAA8 won comfortably among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 rolled to another pair of twin wins at 6 a.m. and added a 5 p.m. win with 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m.

The 6 p.m. firsts were split between CBS11 in total viewers and WFAA8 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net