powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes


News anchors Campos and McCaa hope to join sports anchor Hansen in continuation of WFAA8's longstanding "Big Three"


Anchors John McCaa and Gloria Campos both joined WFAA8 in 1984. Photo: Ed Bark

The Big Three of Dallas -- Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy -- will remain together in a continuation of the series this summer on TNT.

But what about the Big Three of Dallas-based WFAA8?

As previously reported on unclebarky.com, sports anchor Dale Hansen recently signed a three-year contract extension that will keep him at the station through 2016 and past his 68th birthday. He joined WFAA8 in 1983 after being fired by cross-town rival KDFW-TV (now better known as Fox4). The price of continuing to do business with WFAA8 will be a 32 percent pay cut, "which I am absolutely fine with," Hansen said.

Anchors Gloria Campos and John McCaa, both of whom joined WFAA8 in 1984, say they also are hopeful of signing new deals -- with salary reductions as part of the bargain. Since August 2002 they've been co-anchors of the station's marquee 10 p.m. weeknight newscasts, following an earlier tri-anchor rotation that also included former WFAA8 staffer Scott Sams.

Campos said she's in preliminary talks with management on extending a contract that expires in September of this year.

"I fully expect to have a new deal that will include a pay cut and a reduction of duties," she said in an email response. "We haven't hammered that out but I was told they want me to continue to co-anchor the 10 p.m. news. Not much more to say at this point."

McCaa, in a separate response, said he expects to "soon" be discussing a new contract with station management. "I think we all realize there is a different environment in which the whole industry finds itself -- indeed the whole country."

McCaa and Campos were D-FW's first and remain the market's only minority anchor team in the high-profile 10 p.m. news slot. They also co-anchor WFAA8's 6 p.m. newscasts.

For the past several years, WFAA8 and CBS11 have been locked in down-to-the-wire battles for the Nielsen ratings leadership at 10 p.m. WFAA8 won the four-week November "sweeps" in the two key newscast measurements -- total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds. The February sweeps start on Thursday.

WFAA8 president and general manager Mike Devlin said via email last week that he wants no more inquiries from unclebarky.com.

"Stop emailing me," he said. "Put a 'no comment' by my name."

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Jan. 27-29) -- Pro Bowl charade battles first-run CBS lineup

The NFL's annual equivalent of All-Star flag football, with light tackling included, piled up 100 points while also adding up pretty well in Sunday's prime-time Nielsens.

That would be the Pro Bowl from Hawaii, with the AFC's 59-41 win over the NFC averaging 250,642 D-FW viewers. It was good enough to beat all competing broadcast network programming except new episodes of CBS' Undercover Boss and CSI: Miami.

The closing 8 to 8:30 p.m. half-hour of the Mavericks-Spurs overtime game, carried on both Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN, also lured more viewers than that portion of the Pro Bowl. Boss had the night's overall biggest haul -- 304,835 viewers in the 7 p.m. hour.

Boss and the closeout of Mavs-Spurs also outpointed the Pro Bowl among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.

Sunday night's annual Screen Actors Guild awards, shown on both TNT and TBS, pulled in a combined 88,063 total viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. And on HBO, the premiere of the horse track series Luck had 40,645 total viewers.

CBS again swept Friday's prime-time competitions in total viewers with its regular lineup of A Gifted Man, CSI: NY and Blue Bloods.

The final two episodes of NBC's Chuck, airing from 7 to 9 p.m., had 108,386 and 81,289 viewers respectively to run second and fourth among the Big 4 broadcast networks. Chuck fared better among 18-to-49-year-olds, bowing out with first and second place finishes. Fox's Fringe had the most 18-to-49-year-olds of any Friday attraction.

In local news derby results, CBS11 won at 10 p.m. Friday in total viewers while WFAA8 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox 4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and added 5 and 6 p.m. wins in the 25-to-54 demographic. NBC5 and CBS11 respectively had the 5 and 6 p.m. firsts in total viewers.

"See how North Texans are making money from our millennial fears"

WFAA8's promotions department was pretty deep into "ooh scary" mode back in 1999.

We posted that year's series of Rat Attack spots earlier this month in these spaces. Now "Y2K Hysteria" looms anew in these inventively spooky '99 '99 '99 ads for investigator Byron Harris' reports on profiteers who hoped to cash in by persuading gullible North Texas earthlings to stockpile gold and non-perishable foods. Harris looks comparatively boyish in these promos. And to this day he's still piling up prestigious Peabody and duPont-Columbia awards.
Ed Bark

Fox4 reporter Peter Daut leaving station for anchor post

Peter Daut in myfoxdfw.com photo

Fox4 reporter Peter Daut, who joined the Dallas-based station in December 2008, is leaving to become a morning anchor at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC.

WSOC, an ABC affiliate, also is the station where new Fox4 news director Robin Whitmeyer last worked before coming to Dallas earlier this month.

"After three incredible years . . . I am honored and excited for this opportunity!" Daut says on his Facebook page. His last day at Fox4 is Thursday, Jan. 26th.

Daut came to Dallas from KFOX-TV in El Paso, where he had been a weekend anchor and investigative reporter. He also has been a fill-in anchor while at Fox4.

Newsy items from the D-FW television news scene (updated)

Kurt Davis, executive news director at San Antonio's KENS-TV, supposedly was expected to be officially named Wednesday, Jan. 25th, as Dallas-based WFAA8's new news director.

At least that's according to the subscription TV industry website, newsblues.com, which said Wednesday that "Belo bigs" (Belo Corp. owns both stations) had arrived at KENS "for an all-hands-on-deck staff meeting" at which Davis' hiring would be announced. But that hasn't happened as of late Wednesday afternoon.

Davis' emergence as the leading candidate to become WFAA8's new news director was reported Monday on unclebarky.com. Newsblues had picked up that story and linked to it earlier in the week before it followed up with Wednesday's "Late Breaking" post. If Davis in fact is hired, he'd be replacing Michael Valentine, who is taking a corporate news position with Belo.

***Belo continues to be a big believer in the Rentrak ratings system, which has emerged as a new rival to Nielsen Media Research.

Rentrak announced Wednesday that WFAA8 has extended its contract with the company while Belo-owned stations in Houston, Phoenix and Seattle are newly on board.

"Belo believes that the future of local television measurement very well may be a set-top box based system," Belo Corp. president of media operations Peter Diaz said in a publicity release. "To that end, Belo is investing in Rentrak . . . in order to evaluate, explore and investigate the values and potential of STB ratings."

As previously reported on unclebarky.com, WFAA8 remains the D-FW market's only Rentrak subscriber. Dallas Mavericks and HDNet owner Mark Cuban also is an investor in the company. WFAA8's ratings are appreciably higher under the Rentrak system. Rival D-FW stations, with the exception of CBS11, also are getting significantly better numbers, according to Rentrak data made available to unclebarky.com.

*** Fort Worth-based NBC5 announces that it's the only local TV station in the country to receive a nomination by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which will hold its 23rd annual awards ceremonies this spring on three different dates in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

GLAAD cited NBC5 Spotlight: GLBT in Texas, which aired in February 2011 and included stories ranging from the first Dallas police officer to undergo a transgender operation while on the force to the Dallas Diablos Rugby Football Club's inclusion of both gay and straight team members. NBC5's Kristi Nelson anchored and reported on the program while Reginald Hardwick produced it.

***Former NBC5 reporter Susy Solis gets around. After leaving the station in mid-October, she began freelancing late in the year for WFAA8. But now Solis has segued to CBS11, where the station confirms that she's also a freelancer. Solis reported this week on a woman who was found dead on an in-home tanning bed.

WFAA8's Shon Gables has another strike against her in Michigan court

Shon Gables in wfaa.com photo

The longstanding $35,000 slander judgement against WFAA8 anchor/reporter Shon Gables took another turn late last week when a Michigan circuit court judge ordered the seizure and selling of any personal property remaining in the Southfield, MI condo where she once resided.

The slander judgment, rendered by judge Jeanne Stempiem, dates to April 7, 2010. Since that time, Gables (formerly known as Shondella Morton) has been cited for contempt of court for twice failing to appear as ordered in a Michigan courtroom. Last year, a warrant was issued for Gables' arrest. It remains in effect, with her bond raised from $2,000 to $25,000 if she is apprehended in the state of Michigan.

The original slander suit was filed by Richard Klamka, the attorney brother of Gables' second husband, Peter Klamka. Gables, who joined WFAA8 in January 2010, has since remarried and has a daughter by her third husband. She also has two sons from the previous marriages.

The latest ruling, issued Friday, does not allow authorities to confiscate any property in Gables' current Frisco,TX residence. But notifications of the seize and sell order have been sent to both the Southfield and Frisco addresses, as well as to WFAA8 offices in downtown Dallas, according to the court document signed by judge Stempiem.

WFAA8 news director Michael Valentine has declined to comment on the matter, other than to say that "I'm in constant communication with Shon and she has kept me up to date on the issue."

Gables' Southfield, MI condo was foreclosed on in November, but sources close to the case say that she has six months to redeem the property, which remains in her name. It has been rented out during periods since the foreclosure. Gables worked at WDIV-TV in Detroit until 2003, when she joined the staff of New York City's CBS 2 News This Morning.

The seize and sell order allows authorities to confiscate motor vehicles, money, home appliances, etc. After a public auction, any proceeds would be distributed to the plaintiffs in the case. That sum would then be deducted from the $35,000 judgment against Gables, which with interest accrued has now increased to $38,671 according to court documents.

Gables anchors WFAA8's weekend early morning newscasts and also reports three days a week. She was out in the elements during the station's Wednesday, Jan. 25th Daybreak program, reporting live on the "puddling and ponding" in thoroughfares near White Rock Lake.

Gables also lately has been documenting her ongoing weight loss regimen on newnaturalista.com.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Jan. 24) -- State of Union scrambles prime-time schedules

President Obama's 8 p.m. State of the Union address sent prime-time schedules into rerun-ville Tuesday, with NBC's 7 p.m. hour of The Biggest Loser the night's only new attraction among the Big Four broadcast networks.

Still, Loser ran third in its time slot, trailing CBS' NCIS repeat (311,609 D-FW viewers) and Fox's American Idol rehash (277,738). Loser moved up to second with advertiser-sought 18-to-49-year-olds, while NCIS fell to third.

ABC's double helping of Last Man Standing reruns ran fifth in both measurements, also losing to The CW's new hour of 90210 while drawing just 60,967 total viewers for its 7:30 p.m. episode.

Fox and CBS tied for the most State of the Union viewers, averaging 196,449 apiece while ABC and NBC trailed in that order. In the cable news universe, Fox News Channel led the three-way field with 88,063 viewers.

In Tuesday's local news derby results, WFAA8 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers but was nipped by Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions while NBC5 did likewise at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. golds went to Fox4 in total viewers and the Peacock with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Jan. 23) -- single-worded dramas dominate

Fox's House and Alcatraz and ABC's Castle made it a big night for minimalist titles while CBS opted out by offering wall-to-wall repeats of its potent Monday lineup.

A new House won the 7 p.m. hour with 318,383 D-FW viewers before Alcatraz held serve with an identical audience haul at 8 p.m. A first-run Castle then made ABC king at 9 p.m. with 284,512 viewers.

House and Castle also prevailed among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds but Alcatraz fell prey to the second hour of ABC's The Bachelor, which nipped Fox's escapist fare.

Over on NBC, the four remaining Republican presidential candidates got together for their 4,793rd debate, this time in Florida. Brian Williams proved to be a superb questioner/moderator during the two-hour spar, which averaged a decent-sized 203,223 total viewers. In the closing 9 to 10 p.m. hour, that was good enough to beat both Fox4's local newscast and CBS' Hawaii Five-0 rerun. The Repubs slipped a rung with 18-to-49-year-olds, beating only Five-0. The first hour of the debate ran fourth across the board.

In local news derby results, WFAA8 happily fed off ABC's bounteous Castle lead-in and romped to commanding wins at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 took the 6 a.m. gold in total viewers but WFAA8 rose up to tie the station for first among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Both 5 p.m. wins went to Fox4, which also ran on top at 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic. CBS11 notched a 6 p.m. first in total viewers.

"A bizarre influx of rats and rodents into North Texas"

WFAA8 unapologetically went the witches brew route in this macabre trio of 1999 ratings "sweeps" spots. They're oh so Mickey Mouse now, but a good rat scare is still a timeless way to lure viewers into a late night news lair. Have a look and see if you believe what you see from a station that's won more Peabody and duPont-Columbia awards than all other D-FW stations combined.
Ed Bark.

WFAA8's next news director could be a first for D-FW market (amended)

Kurt Davis in Facebook photo

WFAA8's ongoing search for a new news director may be nearing an end.

Reliable sources say that Kurt Davis, executive news director at CBS affiliate KENS-TV since September 2003, has emerged as a leading candidate. KENS and WFAA8 are both owned by Dallas-based Belo Corp. The position became vacant when Michael Valentine accepted a Belo corporate position in late December.

If Davis gets the WFAA8 position, he would become the D-FW market's first African-American male news director. Kim Godwin, currently a senior producer at CBS News, was KXAS-TV's vice president and news director from 1998 to 2001.

A 1983 graduate of Louisiana State University, Davis previously interviewed in 2010 for the news director's position at D-FW's CBS11. But the station instead chose Adrienne Roark from CBS-owned WFOR-TV in Miami. He does not lack for confidence. On the San Antonio Association of Black Journalists website, Davis is quoted as saying, "When it comes to TV and the ratings, I like to win. I'm a winner, and I like being part of winning propositions. For me, KENS-5 is a winning proposition, and I'm very happy and very proud to be here."

The New Orleans native also has held management positions in the news departments of WDSU-TV in New Orleans and WSB-TV in Atlanta.

Early in his career Davis also worked for several years at Dallas-based KDFW-TV (now better known as Fox4) when it was a CBS affiliate. He was an executive news producer at the station during the early 1990s.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Jan. 20-22) -- NFC/AFC championship games pile on the points

One ended with a missed field goal, the other with a made one. And both went down to the final seconds, giving the NFL total dominance of Sunday's D-FW Nielsen ratings.

CBS had the early game, a 23-20 Patriots win over the Ravens when former kicker Dallas Cowboys kicker Billy Cundiff shanked a chip shot field goal that would have sent the AFC championship tussle into OT.

Running from 2:07 to 5:10 p.m., the game averaged 1,029,663 viewers, peaking at 1,178,693 in the closing minutes.

Then came Fox's Giants-49ers NFC championship game, won by New York in OT when its kicker, Lawrence Tynes, made a field goal from almost exactly the same distance as Cundiff's botched attempt. Starting at 5:42 p.m. and ending at 9:35 p.m., the game averaged 1,293,853 viewers with a peak crowd of 1,774,812 between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m.

The next closest prime-time attraction, CBS' 7 p.m. episode of Undercover Boss, had 216,771 viewers.

Fox's special one-hour episode of American Idol, pushed all the way back to 9:57 p.m. after the post-game wrapup, hung in with a nice-sized 521,606 viewers. That crunched the competing 10 p.m. local newscasts on NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11, which had a combined audience of 460,639. CBS11 led the news threesome with 182,901 viewers.

CBS led Friday's prime-time ratings from start to finish in total viewers with a lineup of A Gifted Man, CSI:NY and Blue Bloods.

In Friday's local news derby results, WFAA8 nipped CBS11 at 10 p.m. in total viewers while NBC5 topped the field among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Otherwise it was all Fox4, with the station running the table at 6 a.m. and 5 and 6 p.m.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Jan. 19) -- Idol nips Big Bang; The Firm on fumes

Thursday's second episode of Fox's American Idol took a sizable viewer dip but had just enough pop to outdraw CBS' competing The Big Bang Theory.

From 7 to 7:30 p.m., the first half of Idol had 429,478 D-FW viewers while Big Bang drew 424,059. CBS' following Rob then dropped to 304,835 viewers, with the 7:30 to 8 p.m. portion of Idol ticking up a bit to 440,317. Wednesday's two-hour Idol averaged 562,250 viewers.

Idol had an easier time Thursday among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, winning by wider margins against both CBS sitcoms. Opposite Big Bang, the margin was 204,947 viewers to 153,710.

CBS easily won from 8 to 10 p.m. in total viewers. Its surging Person of Interest had 379,350 total viewers while Fox's new The Finder fell to third behind ABC's Grey's Anatomy with well less than half that haul (169,353). The Mentalist mopped up with 345,479 viewers, thrashing ABC's runnerup Private Practice (149,030).

ABC countered, however, with 18-to-49 wins for both Grey's and Practice. NBC's 9 p.m. entry, The Firm, continued to sag with fourth place finishes in both ratings measurements. It had just 88,063 total viewers.

Thursday's local news derby results went like this. CBS11 capitalized on CBS' potent Mentalist win to win big at 10 p.m. with 250,642 total viewers compared to second place WFAA8's 128,708. But Fox4 edged CBS11 among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions while adding a 6 p.m. win with 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 and WFAA8 tied for first at 6 p.m. in total viewers.

The Me-TV Network can soon be your TV network

footer_metv_logo mid-Beverly_Hillbillies_Episode_18_Jed_Saves_The_Drysdales_Marriage

The Me-TV Network, not to be confused with MyNetworkTV, is coming soon to Dallas-based KTXD-TV, which until the start of this year was KTAQ-TV.


The London Broadcasting Company, not based in London but formed in 2007 by former Gaylord Entertainment Company CEO Terry E. London, announced the acquisition and affiliation switch Thursday. Under the new ownership, KTXD (to be branded as K-TEX), will happily wallow in nostalgia, otherwise known as "some of the most enjoyed shows ever broadcast on television."

K-TEX ostensibly is digital Ch. 47 on your dial, but will be over the place depending on your satellite dish or cable affiliation. The Me-TV Network lineup will kick in sometime next month, London Broadcasting says. The company already owns stations in markets serving Corpus Christi, Tyler-Longview, Beaumont-Port Arthur and -- take a deep breath -- Waco-Killeen-Temple-Bryan-College Station.

The acquisition of KTXD easily is London's biggest deal to date. D-FW ranks as the nation's 5th largest TV market. Formerly the flagship station of the Promiseland Television Network, KTAQ had been running religious programming and infomercials.

The Me-TV Network, which stands for Memorable Entertainment Television, will be offering wall-to-wall repeats of old TV chestnuts. Its current 7 to 10 p.m. (central) prime-time lineup is The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Bob Newhart Show, That Girl, Cheers and The Odd Couple.

Dig deeper into weekday nights, or early mornings, and you'll find the likes of I Love Lucy, The Untouchables, Peter Gunn, Combat!, Twelve O'Clock High, My Three Sons, The Beverly Hillbillies, Daniel Boone and Love, American Style. And the weekend fare includes Batman, Branded, Car 54, Where Are You?, Columbo, The Fugitive, Honey West, Naked City, Star Trek and even The Rogues. No I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, though. Damn the luck!

Dallas-based KFWD-TV (Ch. 52), under the wing of Belo-owned WFAA8, also dabbles in "Classic TV" when it's not repeating local newscasts or reprising the ABC affiliate's afternoon syndicated lineup of Dr. Oz and Anderson. Its TV Land-ish attractions include daily doses of The Rockford Files, All in the Family, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Gallery, The Saint, I Dream of Jeannie, Charlie's Angels and The Andy Griffith Show.

So if this is the way you roll, then go for it. The audience demographics for these two stations may skew north of Forest Lawn. But hey kids, you just might find yourselves groovin' to a juiced-up Batman dancing at a swingin' party. For which we just happen to have a clip.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Jan. 18) -- Idol still a force


More judgment days for Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson. Fox photo

Wednesday's 11th season premiere of American Idol led Fox to another prime-time romp, even though the D-FW numbers drooped a bit from last year's launch.

Idol averaged 562,250 viewers from 7 to 9 p.m., with 246,577 of them in the motherlode 18-to-49 demographic. Last January's two-hour premiere, which introduced judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, had 602,536 viewers, with 256,667 in the advertiser-craved 18-to-49 age range.

There has, however, been some year-to-year ratings deflation in the D-FW market, with each point now worth 67,741 viewers instead of 69,257. So in that respect, it's pretty much a wash.

The Season 11 debut took a substantially bigger hit nationally, dropping from 26.3 million total viewers to 21.6 million, according to preliminary Nielsen data. The 18-to-49 numbers also took a double-digit drop percentage-wise.

Locally, a couple of competing attractions gave Idol a halfway decent fight Wednesday night. CBS' new episode of Criminal Minds had 331,931 total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour, with 102,474 of the 18-to-49 persuasion.

Also at 8 p.m., ABC's first-run Modern Family drew 298,060 viewers. And its 18-to-49 showing -- 182,531 -- checked in at a substantially higher percentage than Idol's.

Meanwhile, NBC took it in the teeth again, running fourth all night in both major ratings measurements. The second episode of Are You There, Chelsea? managed just 108,386 total viewers from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

CBS won the 9 p.m. hour in total viewers with a new episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (264,190). Fox4's local newscast comfortably ran first with 18-to-49-year-olds, though, with a new episode of ABC's Revenge sagging to fourth in that key demographic.

In Wednesday's local news derby results, CBS11 swept the 10 p.m. Nielsens in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the favored advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 likewise ran the table at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. wins were split between WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demo.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: TXA21, sister station of CBS11, is moving its locally produced The Fan Sports Show with Gina Miller up a half hour. Beginning on Feb. 6th, it will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. weekdays, with the syndicated Inside Edition moving back to 7:30 p.m.

Laughable 1992 KXAS promo touts a spooky town DART investigation

Promos for must-see local news stories regularly go off the rails. But none more so than this April 1992, pre-DART "Ticket To Ride?" spot from KXAS-TV (now better known as NBC5).

A horror movie motif sets the stage before anchors Jane McGarry and a notably trimmer Mike Snyder contribute their intonations.

"Is this really rapid rail or a multi-million dollar r-r-ripoff?" Snyder asks in his patented accusatory tone after sneaking up behind McGarry. Truly hysterical. Enjoy.
Ed Bark

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (New Year's Eve to Jan. 17) -- marathon post-"press tour" catchup round

Here comes an up-close look, in abbreviated form, of the past 17 days of D-FW ratings activity. We'll give you the latest Nielsen numbers first, starting with Tuesday, Jan. 17th and back-tracking all the way to New Year's Eve.

TUESDAY, JAN. 17th -- Fox's new episodes of Glee, New Girl and Raising Hope easily swept the 7 to 9 p.m. slot with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds. A first-run episode of NBC's Parenthood then won the 9 p.m. hour in this key demographic.

In total viewers, CBS prospered with crime repeats. NCIS as usual won at 7 p.m. while Unforgettable edged Fox4's local newscast in the 9 p.m. hour. New Girl had the most total viewers from 8 to 8:30 p.m. before the second half of CBS' NCIS: Los Angeles mopped up with an 8:30 to 9 p.m. win. The premiere of The CW's Remodeled ran a distant fifth among the five major broadcast networks, drawing just 47,419 total viewers in a market of nearly 6.8 million.

Local news derby results: WFAA8 topped the total viewers field at 10 p.m., but Fox4 broke through with a first place finish among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions and added a 6 p.m. win with 25-to-54-year-olds. CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m.

MONDAY, JAN. 16th -- In what turned out to be a battle of the titans, NBC's 90-minute celebration of Betty White's 90th birthday -- followed by a sneak preview of her Off Their Rockers senior prank show -- outdrew Fox's potent two-hour premiere of Alcatraz.

The birthday fete averaged 345,479 total viewers before Rockers upped the ante to 359,027. Alcatraz ran a solid second from 7 to 9 p.m. with 298,060 viewers.

The 18-to-49 golds went mostly to CBS' ever formidable Monday night comedy quartet, with How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly all on top. From 7:30 to 8 p.m., though, Alcatraz nipped CBS' 2 Broke Girls. NBC's White sale dipped to fourth place across the board, with ABC's The Bachelor taking the bronze from 7 to 9 p.m.

At 9 p.m., CBS' Hawaii Five-0 nipped ABC's Castle in total viewers while Fox4's local news won with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Local news derby results: WFAA8 won at 10 p.m. on both ratings scorecards. All four stations claimed Martin Luther King holiday exemptions at 6 a.m., with WFAA8 also taking a knee at 5 and 6 p.m. In the three-way early evening competitions, NBC5 took the total viewer golds at both 5 and 6 p.m. while Fox4 recorded twin wins in the 25-to-54 demographic.

SUNDAY, JAN. 15th -- Post-season NFL football dominated the day, with Fox's Giants-Packers game rolling up 1,138,049 total viewers to easily outpoint CBS's earlier Ravens-Texans game (887,407).

NBC's Golden Globes Awards averaged 480,961 viewers to dominate the prime-time hours. The Globes likewise cruised with 18-to-49-year-olds, as did football.

SATURDAY, JAN. 14th -- Fox's down-to-the-wire 49ers-Saints thriller outdrew CBS' Tim Tebow-fueled Broncos-Patriots game. Total viewer numbers were not included in this day's ratings information. But in the total household Nielsens, 49ers-Broncos ran up the score. The climactic final minutes hit a high of 668,538 homes.

FRIDAY, JAN. 13th -- CBS' Blue Bloods again was the night's biggest draw, with 277,738 total viewers. The Tom Selleck cop drama also took its usual dip with 18-to-49-year-olds, finishing third while Fox4's local newscast and ABC's 20/20 tied for first.

Local news derby results: CBS11 won comfortably in total viewers at 10 p.m., but shared the 25-to-54 spoils with WFAA8. Fox4 and NBC5 tied for first in total viewers at 6 a.m., with Fox4 as usual controlling the 25-to-54 Nielsens. CBS11 ran first at 5 and 6 p.m. in total viewers. The respective 25-to-54 golds went to WFAA8 and Fox4.

THURSDAY, Jan. 12th -- Fox's premiere of The Finder came up small at 8 p.m. opposite potent rival dramas on CBS and ABC.

CBS' Person of Interest won the hour with 413,220 total viewers. ABC's Grey's Anatomy ran second (284,512 viewers), with the third place Finder (203,223 viewers) beating only NBC's The Office and Up All Night among the Big 4 broadcast networks.

Finder likewise ran third among 18-to-49-year-olds, with Person of Interest plunging from first to fourth. At 9 p.m., NBC's second episode of The Firm ran third in total viewers and fourth in the 18-to-49 demographic.

In prime-time's lead-off hour, CBS' premiere of the Rob Schneider sitcom Rob drew a robust 355,801 total viewers from 7:30 to 8 p.m. after a new Big Bang Theory episode set the table with the biggest audience of the night -- 487,735 viewers. Both comedies also won their time slots with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Local news derby results: CBS11 ran the table at 10 p.m. and Fox4 did likewise at 5 and 6 p.m. In the 6 a.m. competitions, Fox4 nailed down another win in total viewers but WFAA8 rose up to claim a rare first place finish with 25-to-54-year-olds.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 11th -- ABC's Modern Family had the biggest prime-time haul with 277,738 total viewers while also easily finishing as the top draw among 18-to-49-year-olds. CBS' two-hour People's Choice Awards outdrew everything except Modern Family, averaging 270,964 viewers from 8 to 10 p.m. But the show faltered in its final hour in the 18-to-49 demo, placing third behind NBC's Law & Order: SVU and Fox4's local news.

NBC's launch of Are You There, Chelsea? was found by 176,127 total viewers from 7:30 to 8 p.m. That put it second behind CBS' second half of a Criminal Minds repeat. Chelsea had NBC's strongest ratings of the night, however, among 18-to-49-year-olds, winning its time slot by a solid margin over ABC's competing Suburgatory.

Local news derby results: WFAA8 had a doubleheader win at 10 p.m. while Fox4 swept the 5 and 6 p.m. competitions. The 6 a.m. firsts went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

TUESDAY, JAN. 10th -- CBS' NCIS again flexed, drawing a night's high of 535,154 total viewers. The network's NCIS: Los Angeles and Unforgettable also won their time periods. Unforgettable was the only crimestopper to falter with 18-to-49-year-olds, tying NBC's Parenthood for second behind Fox4's local news.

The second and what turned out to be the last episode of ABC's abysmal Work It was the smallest draw among the Big 4 broadcast networks with 94,837 total viewers.

Local news derby results: WFAA8 had an enjoyable late night, winning at 10 p.m. in both ratings measurements. Fox4 likewise ran the table at 6 a.m. CBS11 notched a 6 p.m. victory in total viewers while NBC5 won at 5 p.m. in that measurement. WFAA8 won at both early evening hours among 25-to-54-year-olds, with paper-thin margins over NBC5 at 5 p.m. and CBS11 at 6 p.m.

MONDAY, JAN. 9th -- Alabama's 21-0 wipeout of LSU in the BCS championship game topped all prime-time programming, but with a less than imposing 602,895 total viewers on ESPN. The biggest draw opposite the game, ABC's 9 p.m. episode of Castle, had a respectable 277,738 viewers.

Local news derby results: Fox4 and NBC5 split the proceeds while WFAA8 and CBS11 went hungry.

Fox4 scored an uncommon sweep at 10 p.m., as did NBC5 at 6 a.m. The Peacock also won at 5 and 6 p.m. in total viewers, with Fox4 taking the 25-to-54 golds at those hours.

SUNDAY, JAN. 8th -- The Broncos' upset overtime win against the Steelers dominated the day's numbers, with 1,232,886 viewers watching Tim Tebow throw the winning 80-yard TD pass on the first play of overtime. Denver-Pittsburgh had an overall average of 887,407 viewers on CBS, easily outpointing Fox's earlier post-season matchup of the Giants and Falcons (711,281 viewers).

In prime-time, NBC's two-hour premiere of The Firm had 189,675 viewers, trailing CBS' football-delayed backwash of The Good Wife and CSI: Miami and ABC's Desperate Housewives.

SATURDAY, JAN. 7th -- The Saints-Lions playoff matchup flexed with 914,504 viewers during prime-time on NBC. The Peacock's earlier Texans-Bengals matchup averaged 582,573 viewers. ESPN's early afternoon attraction, SMU's win over Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl, drew scant interest locally, averaging just 74,515 viewers.

FRIDAY, JAN. 6th -- Fox's prime-time telecast of the Cotton Bowl from Jerry's Palace, one of the very few bowl games on free TV, ranked as the day's top draw with 406,446 viewers. For the record, Arkansas beat Kansas State.

Local news derby results: Opposite the closing stages of the Cotton Bowl, WFAA8 won a downsized three-way 10 p.m. competition in total viewers, but NBC5 topped the field among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. while adding a 6 p.m. win in the 25-to-54 demographic. CBS11 ran first at 6 p.m. in total viewers.

THURSDAY, JAN. 5th -- Not much happening in prime-time, with CBS' The Big Bang Theory topping all programs with 338,705 viewers on a night of repeats.

Local news derby results: WFAA8 swept the 10 p.m. faceoffs while adding 5 and 6 p.m. wins among 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 and NBC5 tied for first in total viewers at 6 a.m., with Fox4 alone on top in the 25-to-54 demo. CBS11 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers and NBC5 had the 5 p.m. gold in that measurement.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 4th -- Repeats again held the balance of power all night, with ABC's Modern Family making the biggest hauls in both total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds. On ESPN, a prime-time BCS bowl game between West Virginia and Clemson had just 94,837 viewers.

Local news derby results: The 10 p.m. firsts were split between WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 called the tune at 6 a.m. in both ratings measurements. CBS11 won at 6 p.m. in total viewers, with NBC5 on top at 5 p.m. in that measurement. WFAA8 had the 5 and 6 p.m. golds in the 25-to-54 demo.

TUESDAY, JAN. 3rd -- ESPN's Michigan-Virginia Tech BCS bowl game managed to draw 196,449 viewers. But that was still well less than half the crowd for CBS' NCIS, which again led all prime-time attractions with 392,898 viewers.

ABC's dry heave-inducing premieres of the sitcom Work It and Celebrity Wife Swap respectively drew 108,386 and 121,934 viewers to run third in their time slots. It was the same result among 18-to-49-year-olds, with Fox's repeats of Glee, New Girl and Raising Hope finishing fourth across the board.

Local news derby results: CBS11 topped the 10 p.m. field in total viewers but NBC5 delivered the largest number of 25-to-54-year-olds.

The Peacock had a nice time in the early morning, too, toppling usual front-runner Fox4 in both ratings measurements. Fox4 rebounded in the early evening, sweeping both the 5 and 6 p.m. faceoffs.

MONDAY, JAN. 2nd -- ESPN scored with the day's two high-scoring Big Tunas, the Rose Bowl between Wisconsin and Oregon followed by a prime-time BCS Fiesta Bowl matchup of Oklahoma State and Stanford.

Both games commanded their time slots, with the Rose Bowl averaging 284,512 viewers before the Fiesta Bowl drew 413,220.

Local news derby results: All four combatants punted, taking holiday exemptions for their local newscasts.

SUNDAY, JAN. 1st -- Yesterday when we were young, the Dallas Cowboys folded in another big game. Their loss to the New York Giants, with the winner moving to the post-season, averaged a giant-sized 1,490,302 viewers on NBC's Sunday Night Football. Still, it came up short of the Cowboys' most-watched regular season game, a symmetrical opening bell loss to the New York Jets on Sunday Night Football. That game drew 1,634,465 viewers.

SATURDAY, DEC. 31st -- WFAA8's annual live Big D NYE telecast miffed/irked/outraged some viewers by all but blotting out ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve from 10:30 p.m. to midnight. But WFAA8's alternative celebration from Victory Park drew a very nice-sized 291,286 total viewers in easily winning its time slot opposite rival celebrations.

Big D NYE likewise triumphed among 18-to-49-year-olds, with WFAA8's Pete Delkus, Dale Hansen, Gordon Keith and Shelly Slater doing the bulk of the hosting/toasting. The station's post-midnight replay of ABC's Rockin' Eve had 135,482 total viewers, also winning its time slot.

Post-"press tour" catchup round: Hansen re-ups at WFAA8; Tam time up at NBC5


Both of these local TV news items were tweeted from the just-concluded Television Critics Association winter "press tour" in Pasadena, CA. But non-following readers likely missed them, so here's a repeat.

The big news is WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen's three-year extension of an ongoing contract. It takes effect in 2014 and will keep the always loquacious Hansen in play at the Dallas-based station until age 68, "if I live," he said in an email to unclebarky.com.

The new deal requires Hansen to take a 32 percent pay cut after his current five-year agreement expires. "Which I am absolutely fine with," he said, "because I 'get' the business I work in now. I do think it's somewhat important that people -- especially at Channel 8 -- know I play by the same rules.

Hansen, who joined WFAA8 in 1983 after being fired by rival KDFW-TV (Fox4), said the contract extension allows him "some extra days off, to in effect give me a 5-day work week. Although I'll be doing the same six days (including his Sunday night Sports Special) most of the time."

***NBC5 reporter Julie Tam, who joined the station in April 2010 from Fox affiliate WDRB-TV in Louisville, KY, is leaving after less than two years in D-FW. Her last day day will be Sunday, Jan. 22nd.

"While I weigh my options for what to do next, I will continue to run my business, which has been growing over the last few years, Tam says. That business, TheApplicationMasters.com, is a vehicle for editing college application essays, school assignments, resumes, etc.

Tam will make future "announcements" about herself on her Facebook Fan page, she says.