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Feb 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

California’s biggest Fox stations have generated some early success in the first few days of February sweeps. For the first time, on Los Angeles’ KTTV, a Fox owned-and-operated station, its homegrown “Good Day L.A.” has beaten all 7 a.m.-to-9 a.m. competition in households during sweeps, including local and network news, said KTTV. For the first 11 days of the ratings period, “Good Day L.A.” is up 58 percent over last year in household ratings with a 4.2 and a 13 share. ABC O&O KABC-TV checked in with a 3.8/12 for “Good Morning America,” Tribune-owned WB affiliate KTLA-TV with a 3.3/10 for its morning news, NBC O&O KNBC-TV with a 2.9/9 for the “Today” show (a 38 percent ratings drop over last year) and CBS O&O KCBS-TV with a 0.7/2, according to KTTV.
San Francisco feels ratings rumble too
Up the coast from L.A., San Francisco’s Cox-owned Fox affiliate KTVU-TV has doubled ratings for many of its morning news blocks. During the first week of sweeps, household ratings for the 5 a.m.-to-6 a.m. block are up to a 2.2 from a 1.1, with the closest competitor, CBS’s owned-and-operated KPIX-TV, at a 1.2. From 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. KTVU’s household rating rose to a 4.1 from a 2.2, with Young Broadcasting-owned KRON-TV trailing at a 1.9. From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. KTVU racked up a 5.2, up from a 3.4 last year, while NBC’s O&O KNTV-TV followed with a 2.6 for “Today.” While the February book goes up against last year’s Olympics, the early morning news last year did not include much coverage of the Games, said research director Pat Macholl. In addition, KNTV, which carried the Olympics, is also up for most of its morning news too, she said. Based on viewer feedback, KTVU has refined its morning news focus to serve up even more hard news, she said.
A dose of reality for WPIX news
WPIX-TV, New York, has found an interesting time slot for its reality programming-on its late local news. Taking its cue from TV’s hottest trend, the Tribune-owned WB affiliate injected its sweeps coverage with a little bit of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” last week. The station’s entertainment reporter Toni Senecal offered five men and women the chance to propose marriage on the air for her series on “Marry Me! TV.” One man proposed to his honey in Times Square and another on the W train in Queens. The Valentine’s Day finale was slated to occur in Radio City Music Hall during the Luther Vandross concert, with some assistance from the singer. “It’s less about reality TV to me and more about including the viewer,” said Ms. Senecal. “I am really keen on participatory reporting.”
Chapuis in as news director at KTVU
San Francisco’s KTVU-TV quickly filled its news director vacancy by naming Ed Chapuis to the post last week. He started Feb. 11. He most recently served as news director at Hearst-Argyle’s NBC station KCRA-TV in Sacramento, Calif., from 1997 to 2002. He replaces Andrew Finlayson, who left in late January after 31/2 years. Mr. Chapuis joins the powerhouse Fox affiliate in the middle of February sweeps and his mandate will be to take the top-rated news station and make it even better, said Jeff Block, the station’s general manager. “We’re dominant in morning, dominant at 10 p.m. Our 6 p.m. is a strong No. 1 or No. 2. So the goal is to make the 6 p.m. a solid No. 1 like all the others,” he said. Mr. Chapuis has received two regional Emmy Awards for “Best Newscast” and two RTNDA awards for “Best Special Program.” Under his guidance, KCRA received three Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Salt returns to pepper up viewership for WFTV
Martie Salt’s planned April return to her former station Cox-owned ABC affiliate WFTV in Orlando, Fla., is part of a larger face-lift for the station’s early evening and late local newscasts. Ms. Salt, who was with WFTV for more than a decade before spending the last nine years at Scripps-owned ABC affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa, Fla., will anchor the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts with her former co-anchor Bob Opsahl. In addition, the station moved its morning weatherman Tom Terry to the early evening and late local newscasts at the start of sweeps and also hired Dan Helli as the lead sportscaster for those shows. He started Feb. 10 and most recently worked at Scripps-owned NBC affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach, Fla. While WFTV has been tops in household and demos for its early evening newscasts recently, late local news has been a dogfight in Orlando, said WFTV general manager Bill Hoffman. With the changes, he hopes the station can capture the late local news crown and solidify its strength in early evening. Ms. Salt replaces Marla Weech, who will anchor the news at 10 pm. on sister independent station WRDQ and will provide special reports for WFTV.