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Feb 11, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Outwit, outsit, outrate at KWBQ
Even though NBC stations will pretty much take the February sweeps, Acme-owned WB affiliate KWBQ-TV, Albuquerque, and sister station, UPN affiliate KASY-TV, haven’t given up. They’ve devised a plan to try to erode NBC’s Olympics viewership for the February book. After last month’s auditions, on Feb. 1 they launched their “Live Inside, Win the Ride” challenge in which four viewers live in a 2002 Chrysler Sebring Convertible for 21 days in the mall at Winrock Center. The contest winner gets to keep the car. Every half hour, both stations run 30-second updates on the contestants, and viewers can log on to WB19TV.com to see live pictures from the Web cam installed in the car.
“You can give up or get disqualified for breaking a rule-such as you cannot move any seats or drop anything outside the car, [and] both cheeks must remain on the seat at all times because there is a camera in the car,” said KWBQ/KASY spokesman Steve Bailey. Every three hours, the contestants get to leave the car for 15 minutes.
Each day there are challenges, such as the one that had the contestants singing karaoke Feb. 6. Disc jockeys from the contest’s radio partner, KRZZ-FM, chose the winner, whose prize was a half-hour long break. Another recent challenge involved a written driver’s test; the contestant with the most correct answers got 15 minutes at an oxygen bar in the mall. Each contestant’s name is on a charity bin in the mall, and shoppers can donate money to the bin of their choice, like a vote for their favorite contestant. The money will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Mexico. On the final day, if two or more contestants remain in the car, the charity bin with the most money will determine the winner.
“From our standpoint, it’s our way of competing against the Olympics on a local level,” Mr. Bailey said. “People are definitely tuning in to check out what’s going on.” KWBQ has seen a ratings increase-on Feb. 4, sign on to sign off, it scored a 1.7 Nielsen Media Research rating and 4 share, compared with its January average of 1.4/3.
Losing site of KCBS
For several weeks, Los Angeles viewers logging onto KCBS-TV’s longtime Channel2000.com Web site have been scratching their heads because it now offers links to NBC station sites in California, including KCBS rival KNBC-TV.
That’s because KCBS has changed URLs, and Internet Broadcasting Systems, which used to run the KCBS site, is now running the sites of the NBC-owned station group. IBS currently runs Web sites in 50 markets, with 30 sites in the top 25 markets. Those include all the Hearst-Argyle, McGraw-Hill and Post-Newsweek stations. IBS recently launched its first convergence ad campaign for all 54 station sites it runs: An online and on-air campaign for Dodge that ran before Christmas. The on-air promotions drew traffic to the Web sites by offering viewers auto safety kits. IBS CEO Tolman Geffs said more such ad campaigns will follow.
Since the beginning of January, KCBS has been running its own Web site with the new URL (CBS2.com). KCBS Program Director Rozanne Englehart said they did get a few calls and e-mails initially, but for the most part it’s been an “easy transition.”
“I think the benefit to us is we are managing it, controlling the content 100 percent, and it’s just that much stronger an extension of our news image,” Ms. Englehart said.
KCNC investigation rocks police detail
CBS-owned KCNC-TV, Denver, was all over local newspapers and talk radio last week due to its undercover airport security investigation led by reporter Brian Maass that began Jan. 31. The investigation, utilizing undercover cameras, caught Denver police officers on duty at Denver International Airport spending an excessive amount of time in their break room.
The station caught one police officer entering the break room during an NFL playoff game and leaving several hours later. The pieces attracted the attention of Gov. Bill Owens and Mayor Wellington Webb. It also sparked an internal investigation within the Denver police department. Last week, the captain in charge of the airport detail was reassigned to the Denver Police Academy, and nine others were transferred from the airport detail as well.
KCNC News Director Angie Kucharski said the station has been following the story every day since it broke. “It was an important story because in our post-Sept. 11 world there was an expectation that everything that could be done was being done to keep people safe,” Ms. Kucharski said.