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Industry watchers sound off on sweeps

Feb 16, 2004  •  Post A Comment

“In the space of two days, in the top half of the news, we saw sexual offenders on the loose, cybersex predators, a sexual peeper in San Marcos and, on the lighter side, a story about sexual rejuvenation through surgery.”
Jeanne Jakle, San Antonio Express-News
“I believe that 98 percent of the inaccurate and sensationalized programming in the TV news area comes during sweep periods.”
Roger Ogden, general manager, KUSA-TV, Denver, quoted in the Rocky Mountain News
“It’s an odd time in television news. The technology is better than ever. The news outlets are more plentiful. The news is available at every hour. But what appears on the screen is nothing more than speculation, chatter and mere entertainment.”
Hal Boedeker, Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel
“The quarterly television ratings sweep concluded … giving local viewers a respite from all those `special reports’ on the news about K Street hookers, waking up during surgery and the hazards of hip-hugger jeans.”
Chris Baker, The Washington Times
“When very special sweeps-month stories begin to crowd the news out of newscasts, you have to wonder what’s being ignored.”
Gail Pennington, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Every station does sweeps stunts. Every station claims the other guy is stunting, while its own stories are legit.”
Julie Washington, (Cleveland) Plain Dealer
“In the past, viewers lured by threats of death often found the story didn’t match the promos. As a result, instead of gaining viewers, stations may have lost them.”
Richard Huff, (New York) Daily News