NBC-Owned Stations Attract Olympics Effect in Late News

Sep 6, 2004  •  Post A Comment

NBC and its sibling broadcast and cable networks weren’t the only ones radiating with the Olympics ratings halo last month. In fact, the late newscasts at 13 of the 14 NBC-owned stations saw ratings increases ranging from 8 percent to 113 percent. The standout shop was San Francisco’s KNTV, claiming a 113 percent boost in ratings from July for its 11 p.m. news with a 6.8/22. Miami’s WTVJ-TV rose 61 percent to a 6.1/15. WNCN-TV in Raleigh, N.C., jumped 69 percent to a 5.9/15.

What’s also noteworthy is that many of the stations grew their 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. ratings, even though most did not specifically have an Olympics lead-in to those newscasts. For instance, New York’s WNBC-TV’s 5 p.m. news averaged 430,000 viewers during the Olympics, up 25 percent over July. The station’s 6 p.m. news attracted 525,000 viewers, an increase of 41 percent from July. Chicago’s WMAQ-TV also got a bump at 5 p.m., with a 67 percent increase in ratings, and a 49 percent increase at 6 p.m. San Diego’s KNSD-TV rose 70 percent at 5 p.m. and 60 percent at 6 p.m.

NY1 News Cranks the Pedals for Convention

Time Warner-owned 24-hour news channel NY1 News is making sure the quads of several New York cyclists grow stronger. The news network circumvented the logistical challenges of navigating the Madison Square Garden area during the Republican National Convention in New York last week by hiring five pedicabs. NY1 used the pedicabs to travel from its studios in Chelsea Market to Madison Square Garden.

The cabs hold two people and their camera gear, thus helping the channel’s journalists avoid major traffic delays. Also, the cabs don’t present any parking concerns. The network said that two days into the bicycling experiment, the cabs were shuttling crews back and forth without any delays. The pedicab cyclists wore white NY1 shirts.

WFOR Raises Funds for Hurricane Relief

Miami’s Viacom-owned CBS station WFOR-TV raised about $111,000 for those affected and displaced by Hurricane Charley through its Neighbors 4 Neighbors in-house outreach organization. The newscasts during the Hurricane coverage featured cut-ins from the fund’s phone banks. The group worked with Farm Share, the biggest food supplier in Florida, to get critical supplies to the affected area, in addition to raising the money. The fund was originally formed in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Swift Boat Ads Get Bang for Buck

Despite capturing a swarm of media coverage, the Swift Boat Veterans ads only accounted for 739 airings of the more than 500,000 television spots that have been broadcast so far in the 2004 presidential general election, according to a report from Nielsen Monitor-Plus and The University of Wisconsin Advertising Project. Ads from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ran in only seven markets in three states, yet they generated a surfeit of media coverage. The group bought an average of 92 spots per day than ran in Charleston, S.C.; Dayton Toledo and Youngstown, Ohio; and Green Bay, LaCrosse and Wausau-Rhinelander, Wis. Fewer than 6.5 million people live in these markets, but the group successfully garnered nationwide media attention from their ads, the project noted.

Milwaukee’s WISN Leapfrogs Competition

Hearst-Argyle-owned ABC affiliate WISN-TV in Milwaukee, Wis., said it captured the top spot in the local newscasts at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the recent July ratings period, for which results in Milwaukee were just released. In the important adults 25 to 54 news demo, WISN moved from third to first at 10 p.m., the station said. WISN jumped from a 5.1 rating to a 5.5, while Journal Broadcast Group’s NBC station WTMJ-TV fell from a 7.3 to a 4.9 and Fox-owned WITI-TV dropped from a 6.0 to a 3.6, WISN said. WISN attributes its growth to new on-air talent, better coverage and the addition of 5%BD; hours of local newscasts each week.

KING Funnels Viewers to KONG

If KING viewers want more morning news, they can now tune to KONG. The Belo-owned independent station KONG-TV in Seattle debuted a two-hour news block last week starting at 7 a.m. It follows the end of sister station NBC affiliate KING’s morning news. KING anchors Joyce Taylor and Allen Schauffler host the new program called “Seattle Live,” designed to look at what’s happening in western Washington. It includes a mix of local features as well as the traditional news, weather and traffic.

Boston’s Fox Station Adds More News

As part of its booming news expansion, Fox-owned WFXT-TV in Boston plans to add yet another newscast, with the addition of 5:30 p.m. news beginning Sept. 13. The station’s 5 p.m. anchors David Wade and Maria Stephanos will shepherd the 5:30 news, too, with Bianca de la Garza and Dan Jaehnig anchoring on Fridays. The newscast will also use the station’s new street-level studio.

WGN’s Cubs Best Olympians

Tribune-owned WB affiliate WGN-TV in Chicago said its broadcasts of the Chicago Cubs games on Aug. 27, 28 and 29 drew higher ratings than the Olympics. In fact, on Saturday Aug. 28, the Cubs game scored a 9.2/20 from 3 p.m. to 6:26 p.m., while the Olympics finished well behind with a 4.9/13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., WGN said.

On the Move: Viacom-owned CBS station WCBS-TV in New York promoted its 5 p.m. producer Emad Asghar and its 11 p.m. producer Jerry Andrews to senior producer positions for their respective shows, based on their success in growing ratings for those newscasts. The 5 p.m. news rose 25 percent in the recent May sweeps, and the 11 p.m. news grew 24 percent in May. … In Chicago, Telemundo station WSNS-TV hired Dan Daboub as sales manager. He joins from TeleFutura in Chicago. … Miami’s WFOR-TV and sister Viacom-owned UPN station WBFS-TV hired Jawan Strader as a reporter and anchor. He’s worked in Cleveland, Washington and Austin, Texas. … Viacom’s Philadelphia duopoly of CBS station KYW-TV and UPN station WPSG-TV promoted Susan Schiller from news director to VP and news director. KYW has seen strong ratings growth over the last year.