Local News Programming and Ads Most Immune to DVRs

Oct 4, 2004  •  Post A Comment

A September report from Forrester Research on digital video recorder usage reports that despite the fact that DVR users watch nearly 60 percent of TV on a recorded basis and skip 92 percent of commercials, local TV stations can “breathe easier” because local news and sports are the two categories least likely to be affected by DVR use and associated ad-skipping. The report finds that 75 percent of survey respondents watch the local stations’ evening news when it’s on, rather than when it’s recorded. “The only other programs with more than 50 percent of DVR users watching in real time are other forms of news and sports,” the report said. “Among highly watched shows, only special events like the Oscars come close to news and sports in real-time viewing, with 72 percent of the DVR audience watching the programs live.”

Forrester recommended that local stations capitalize on this real-time strength by bundling local news avails, which will remain valuable, with local prime-time spots, which will lose value as DVR usage proliferates. In addition, DVR users do watch promos more than other ads, giving stations the opportunity to include sponsorship notices for key advertisers within prime-time promos for late news, Forrester said.

Sister Station Carries KYW News During Late-Afternoon Football Games

Viacom’s Philadelphia CBS/UPN duopoly is realizing the benefits of sharing the same facility when it comes to football. During this current football season, CBS station KYW-TV plans to move its Sunday 6:30 p.m. news to UPN station WPSG-TV at 6 p.m. because the CBS network had football games scheduled that are expected to interfere with the news at least eight times this season. The channel switch first came about during a Sept. 19 incident involving area flooding. In that case, KYW kept viewers up-to-date on the situation by moving the KYW news to WPSG and pre-empting a movie on WPSG for local coverage, while leaving the football game on KYW. The station said the experiment worked so well, it decided to trial it on a more regular basis. Now, any Sunday when a football game runs into the news, KYW will air its evening news on WPSG. Based on game starting times, that should be at least 8 times during this year’s regular football season.

KPIX Takes a Closer Look at Afghanistan

Viacom-owned CBS station KPIX-TV in San Francisco decided to tackle what it thinks is an untold story, a behind-the-scenes look at Afghanistan since the U.S. invasion three years ago. The station ran a 10-part series Sept. 20-24 at 5 and 11 p.m., then capped it off with a 30-minute special on Wed., Sept. 29. The special is slated to be repeated Oct. 10, the day after the election in Afghanistan. The station’s 11 p.m. anchor Dana King reported from the country for 10 days and the series, and specials were made of her stories. KPIX said that with most American eyes fixed on Iraq, it wanted to tell the story of the crossroads that Afghanistan is approaching with its election three years after the U.S. invaded and overthrew the ruling Taliban.

NY1 News Revives Straphangers Report

Viewers have been clamoring for the return of “The Straphangers Report” after the New York City transit show went off the air seven years ago. Time Warner-owned regional cable news network NY1 plans to resurrect the concept with a new show called “In Transit.”

The weekly 15-minute show was slated to premiere last Friday at 8:45 a.m. ET. It includes information about daily commutes for subway and bus riders, such as breaking transit news and reports on major issues. The show will also feature “Underground Sounds” profiling the underground musicians and performers, and will also include a segment on classic movie subway scenes, with films including “Ghost,” “Money Train” and “Die Hard With a Vengeance.”

The show will be anchored by NY1 transit reporter Bobby Cuza and produced in partnership with New York Newsday. As such, the paper’s transit columnist Ray Sanchez also will appear on the show. “The Straphangers Report” aired for three years beginning in 1994.

“It was unique and New York-ish and we wanted to bring it back,” said Steve Paulus, general manager for NY1 News. The first iteration ended when the transit reporter left. Now with Mr. Cuza on board, the time was right to revive the show, Mr. Paulus said.

NY1 News will continue its daily “rail and road” reports.

‘CSI: Miami’ Drives WCBS High

New York’s flagship CBS station WCBS-TV hit a new ratings high note last week with a 10.0 Nielsen Media Research rating for its late news on Monday Sept. 27, getting a boost from its “CSI: Miami” lead-in. The Viacom-owned station beat NBC-owned WNBC-TV by 64 percent, WCBS said. WCBS also won in adults 25 to 54 with a 7.2 rating and adults 18 to 49 with a 4.3.

NBCU L.A. Stations Produce Show on Latino Vote

In an example of NBC Universal’s extensive news reach, the company’s three Los Angeles area stations have partnered to produce a show on the Latino vote that will air on the NBC-owned stations, the Telemundo network and MSNBC.

NBC-owned KNBC-TV and Telemundo stations KVEA-TV and KWHY-TV in Los Angeles produced the half-hour special in both English and Spanish to air nationally on the owned stations, the Spanish language network and the news channel. Correspondents from NBC’s owned stations and the Telemundo-owned stations are contributing pieces to the show, titled “Decision 2004: The Latino Vote” and “Decision 2004: El Voto Latino.”

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Natalie Morales will host the English-language version, slated to air during October on the NBC-owned stations. The Telemundo version will air Oct. 9.

Kudos: Dallas’ Fox-owned KDFW-TV received eight Katie Awards from the Dallas Press Club, an award honoring journalistic excellence in Texas. That’s more than any other Texas TV station collected, KDFW said. KDFW won for best anchor team and best weathercast, among others.

On the Move: NBC has promoted Ken Wilkey to senior VP, TV stations and cable technology, for NBC Universal, up from VP, NBC Cable network operations. He will oversee engineering and operating responsibilities for the 29 NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations and for NBC Universal’s six cable networks.