Monday, May 25, 2009

Supersized Memorial Day Weekend Update

We've been accumulating a Supersized Pile of Items here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), and it's time to reduce the pile. The holiday weekend is as "good a time as any" to do so.

And on behalf of the entire editorial staff of Ohio Media Watch, we mark the holiday to honor those who served and gave their lives for us...

WHO'S #1?: Regular OMW readers know that we don't spend a lot of time in ratings land, for either TV or radio stations.

The reason is simple: We don't have the unvarnished data, and ratings can be twisted, turned, folded, spindled and mutilated to make just about any station "look good".

So, we're mostly curious observers to the latest TV ratings battle in Cleveland, the battle for ratings supremacy for 11 PM newscasts.

Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 claimed #1 status for "Channel 3 News" in three news time slots in the most recently released ratings - at 6 PM, at 7 PM and 11 PM.

Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5's "NewsChannel 5" is crowing about reaching the top of the 11 PM pile.


From each side...first, from Channel 3, and "Director's Cut" blogger Frank Macek's item, complete with a "Thank You" video from anchor Romona Robinson:

WKYC sweeps up with a nice win in HH's (households), adults 18+ and adults 25-54 - the key demos at 6 & 11 PM and #1 adults 25-54 and adults 18-49 at 7 PM - a claim no one else in town can make (even though they may try to fool you).


As for the other side of this dispute, "NewsChannel 5" has posted a video promo on its website, claiming to be the "NEW number one newscast at 11 PM", and from a station press release:

WEWS Channel 5 has captured several major victories during the just completed May ratings period, including finishing No. during the 11 p.m. news race. NewsChannel5 at 11 p.m. was first with women 25-54 (3.8 rating/11.3 share) and was the only late newscast to grow their audience from the previous ratings period.


We assume that's a missing "1" after "No." up there. And we also assume that Channel 5 wouldn't make the "NEW number one newscast at 11 PM" claim solely based on its rating among women 25-54.

Which goes to why we don't spend a lot of time dealing with the minutae of ratings reports.

Traditionally, in "We're Both #1!" battles like this, one station picks up a slightly different set of data than the others, if it's not indeed a statistical tie. For one, one station may include its weekend news ratings in the overall claim...while another may stick with Monday through Friday ratings...

WHILE WE'RE AT 13TH AND LAKESIDE: We haven't yet shared news from last week, when WVPX/23 Akron parent ION Media Networks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

We didn't have much to say about it, because for now, it appears the ION folks will continue to operate as per usual, including picking up new entertainment programming. This is from the ION press release:

The company also confirmed that it is in active discussions for the acquisition of further content for the 2009/10 television season, including both off-network syndicated content as well as opportunistic original productions, which it anticipates announcing in coming weeks.

ION can apparently do so because some of its senior lenders are chipping in another $25 million in its restructuring process, to keep the network going.

We found that release quoted on Frank Macek's "Director's Cut" blog, which is significant for one reason...we found out from Frank's item that WVPX never actually left 13th and Lakeside after the former-PAX TV and WKYC-owner Gannett split ways:

Although TV23's transmitter is located in Akron, all of its local operations are based at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center here in Cleveland, where it rents space.

The WKYC Digital Broadcast Center also, in addition to its own operations, is the technical and studio home of regional sports network SportsTime Ohio...

AND WHILE WE'RE AT 30TH AND EUCLID: It's become an Internet Viral Video sensation, and the folks at WEWS are helping to fuel the flames.

While the station's anchors were getting ready to close out the 11 PM edition of "NewsChannel 5" on Friday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers were closing out Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference Finals series with the Orlando Magic.

The "NewsChannel 5" folks were lamenting a late shot by the Magic that looked like the end of the game for the hometown team...and then, THIS happened:

The video is from the YouTube page of ESPN, which featured the video on "SportsCenter". WEWS also offered it on and on YouTube.

With a 10 point Cavaliers loss in Game 3 against the Magic, we'll assume that "NewsChannel 5" anchors were not nearly as animated on Sunday night...

BISHOP OUT: OMW hears that D.A. Peterson standards WDPN/1310 Alliance has parted ways with veteran news director Bob Bishop.

We hear Bishop "left the building" on Thursday of last week.

We don't know at this time if his departure was budget-related, or for some other reason...

THE "SAW IS BACK: Regular OMW readers know that one of our hobbies is tracking former local sportscaster Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton.

"Hacksaw" was heard in the 1970's doing an evening sports talk show on then-Susquehanna talk WHLO/640 Akron (now owned by Clear Channel), and radio work for the World Hockey Association's Cleveland Crusaders, heard on then-WWWE/1100 "3WE" in Cleveland (now Clear Channel talk WTAM).

Now, Hamilton has picked up another gig that may land him on some local radio stations this fall.

He's been signed to do play-by-play for Compass Media Networks' new package of syndicated Sunday afternoon NFL games.

Hamilton will be joined by former NFL player Curtis Conway doing commentary. Quoting AllAccess:

HAMILTON and CONWAY will split duties calling SUNDAY afternoon NFL games with the previously announced duo of CHRIS CARRINO -- longtime voice of NEW JERSEY NETS -- and former NFL player and NFL NETWORK analyst BRIAN BALDINGER.

And quoting Hacksaw:

"The world stops at 1p on SUNDAY afternoons for NFL football," HACKSAW said. "It means so much to the fans across AMERICA. We will put a special signature on our NFL broadcasts. I am glad to join COMPASS MEDIA NETWORKS. Starting something brand new is so very exciting."

Hacksaw is no stranger to local radio NFL play-by-play...


Morgan Wick said...

"And we also assume that Channel 5 wouldn't make the "NEW number one newscast at 11 PM" claim solely based on its rating among women 25-54."

Never underestimate corporate sliminess! Although this IS the sort of sleight-of-hand you'd expect more from WOIO...

J. Moses(Tri-State Media Watch Editor) said...

I saw the WEWS clip on, I think, ABC World News Now this morning. (Yes, yours truly was up very early this morning, don't ask why...heh.)