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Tribune Pats The CW on Back After Big ‘Gossip Girl,’ ‘90210’ Ratings

Sep 4, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Tribune Broadcasting may have scrubbed out some of its public connections with The CW by rebranding some of its television stations, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t enthusiastic about the network’s ratings this week.
“Everyone at Tribune is ecstatic with the terrific launch numbers for The CW’s premiere week,” Randy Michaels, Tribune’s chief operating officer, said in a statement released by the network. “Association with the burgeoning CW brand is an asset to any station group, including our own. We have had many local success stories this week and we congratulate the network and will continue to work closely with them to ensure continued growth and success.”
Tribune operates 13 CW affiliates, including stations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and earlier this week changed the branding on some of those outlets to eliminate CW references from their names. It was the same week that The CW was buoyed by network record premieres of “Gossip Girl” and “90210.”
The network scored as No. 1 in its target audience of women 18-34 for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The CW is under scrutiny this season as it struggles to jump-start ratings, which have lagged. Last season The CW was hit hard by the writers strike and ratings among adults 18-49 dropped about 15%. Other networks also suffered from the strike.
On Aug. 21, The CW’s parent companies sent network employees an e-mail restating their support of the venture. CBS and Warner Bros. suggested that the effort to build the network might take a few years. The network’s failure to catch fire with viewers had prompted speculation about its parents’ devotion, and in May the Wall Street Journal reported that if ratings didn’t improve, one of the principals might abandon the network.
In coming weeks, The CW, its affiliates and advertisers will be watching to see how the networks’ shows perform against new shows coming on line from other networks in the fall season.
“We are off to a strong start with a No. 1 ranking each night of the week in our target female 18-34 demographic,” John Maatta, chief operating officer of The CW, said in the statement. “We have exceeded our ratings expectations thus far and established a strong voice early in the season in a highly competitive marketplace. Importantly, this early success has been on both the national and local level, critical for our valued affiliate partners who are collaborating with us to build a unique, resonant network brand.”
(Editor: Baumann)

One Comment

  1. and then the ratings for the abysmal 90210 dropped like a stone in the second week, and CW’s ratings continue to slip against the new fare on the bigger networks. How can the CW able to stay afloat with such low numbers, and what will happen if the network continues to hemorrhage viewers?

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