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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Ritter’

Taking a Tour of New WABC/Channel 7 Studios

View from the anchor desk

It’s closing in on a year since WABC/Channel 7 moved to new studios at the other side of its Upper West Side building. FishbowlNY was granted access recently to tour the operation with video and photos.

Regular viewers already know the new look is fan-friendly. Taking a page from the network morning news’ playbook, the studio is at street level on the corner of Columbus Avenue and West 66th Street. A window gives passersby a look of the studio, even when live on-air. The talent can also see foot and vehicular traffic. When needed, though, the black curtain can be drawn for intimacy.

But wanting the daytime, New York City feel during the live newscast was a key ingredient to breaking ground. Therefore, at times, sunlight reflects directly onto the anchors. The veteran anchors, though, have not been distracted as they keep their focus on the camera and teleprompter. While locked into the live newscast, that doesn’t mean they loosen the occasional knot in the tie. For example, a couple of months ago a touch of Hollywood came to WABC, and lead anchor Bill Ritter tweeted his followers.

woody harrelson just came by our studio window to wave hello. c’mon… how cool is that?”

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Stations Make Plans as Republicans and Democrats Get Ready to Nominate at National Conventions

Obama and Biden accept the Democratic nomination in 2008

The battle between Mitt Romney and President Obama moves to the convention floor next week for the nominating process, and TV and radio stations are ready for extra coverage of the key moments.

The Republicans lead off in Tampa, with Romney awaiting his party’s endorsement next week.

WABC/Channel 7 is sending anchor Bill Ritter to the GOP convention, along with political reporter Dave Evans.  Reports begin Sunday night at 11.

One week later, the Democrats convene in Charlotte, with morning anchor Lori Stokes joining Evans on scene.

As for WCBS/Channel 2, veteran political reporter Marcia Kramer is the station’s lone representative at the conventions.

A spokesperson tells FishbowlNY that Kramer will cover the national news in addition to the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut state delegations.

WNBC/Channel 4 will also not have an anchor presence. Only reporter Melissa Russo is covering both events live.

A WNYW/WWOR spokesperson did not respond to our request prior to the deadline.

WPIX/Channel 11 is not sending any on-air talent to either convention. The station says without any mystery surrounding the nominees, WPIX will likely just cover it as a news story.

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May Sweeps Results: WABC Overall Winner; WCBS Claims 5 p.m., WNYW Wins at 10 p.m.

WABC took the prize as most-watched station in New York. The just-concluded May sweeps give Channel 7 wins across virtually all dayparts, winning in households and other key demographics.

Eyewitness News at 11:00, led by Bill Ritter and Sade Baderinwa, with meteorologist Lee Goldberg and sports anchor Rob Powers, scored a 6.1 household rating, the highest for a major sweep in the last three years.

The 4 p.m. newscast was the only such broadcast that failed to produce a victory for Channel 7, and that can be traced to the success of Judge Judy on WCBS.

Thanks to that monster lead-in, WCBS declared itself a winner at 5 p.m. among households and total viewers.

WCBS says it’s the station’s first sweeps win since 1982.

“It is very gratifying to get such an incredible report card.  Achieving significant ratings growth in every daypart makes it clear that we are getting a great team effort from the best local news team in the business and more and more people across the tri-state area are appreciating the quality coverage that we are providing every day,” said Peter Dunn, President, CBS Television Stations, and president and general manager, WCBS-TV.

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WABC Anchor Bill Ritter Ready to Spread Christmas Cheer

Bill Ritter is established as the top anchor at WABC/Channel 7. But since 2001, he has also been the go-to guy for Christmas newscasts.

Ritter, who is Jewish, does not mind logging some holiday hours to help his fellow man (and woman) celebrate the birth of Jesus.

“We now have two Jewish anchors, but before Phil [Lipof] got hired I was the only male Jewish anchor,” Ritter tells FishbowlNY. “You work Christmas Day.  It’s the right thing to do.”

Ritter would typically anchor December 25th newscasts in every daypart. However, this year’s schedule is slightly altered. Since it’s a Sunday, there is no noon newscast. And with the NBA kicking off the season on ABC that afternoon, the 6 p.m. broadcast is preempted. 

But this is more than about Ritter’s Christmas work ethic. A more impressive WABC holiday tradition is the reading of viewer emails during the morning newscasts from 6 to 10 a.m. (with a break for Good Morning America). It’s a heavy dose of communal experience for Ritter, this year’s co-anchor Jen Maxfield, and meteorologist Lee Goldberg

After 9/11, we thought we want to be able to have people express themselves in a way that would be interactive, that they’d have an access to a television station, and it was before the Web took off,” Ritter says.

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Time to Handout 2nd Annual Barmash Awards for Excellence in TV News

It’s that time of the year—time for buying Christmas trees, and subsequently decorating them with all the trimmings. Our Jewish friends are digging out the menorahs, and making sure they have enough candles.

But it’s also the season for countless awards. FishbowlNY is no exception, as we present our 2nd annual Barmash Awards, honoring the local TV news scene here in New York.

As the title indicates, there is no committee making these decisions—just one co-editor.

While our intention isn’t to specifically balance the award winners, it does show the enormous talent we have to choose from across the dial.

Best Newscast (morning)

The chemistry works perfectly between WABC/Channel 7 veterans Lori Stokes and Ken Rosato. Stokes, though, brings that special connection to morning viewers. Stokes has a warm and friendly demeanor as she virtually “wakes” up people each day. Bill Evans is one of the best TV meteorogists, only falling short in the overall category to a colleague.

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It’s a Clean Sweep of the November Sweeps for WABC/Channel 7

WABC/Channel 7 maintained its dominance of local news, winning every daypart in the just-concluded November sweeps, according to Nielsen.

Starting in the weekday mornings, Eyewitness News This Morning with Lori Stokes, Ken Rosato and Bill Evans had the highest Household rating at 4:30.

At 5 a.m., WABC was tops in Households and Adults 25 to 54, while during the 6 o’clock hour, once again, more viewers watched Channel 7 than any other local newscast.

Stokes, Rosato, and Evans return at noon, and so do the great ratings. The broadcast holds a 39 percent advantage over its closest competition among Households. The lunchtime newscast also draws more than twice as many Adults 25 to 54 and Women 25 to 54 as its closest competitor.

A change of anchors at 4 p.m., but the result is the same for WABC. With Liz Cho, David Novarro, and Lee Goldberg, Channel 7 won in the pivotal Adults 25 to 54 grouping. The 4 p.m. newscast, which debuted in the summer, only falls short in the key Household rating to Judge Judy on WCBS/Channel 2.

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‘Broadcasting Pioneer,’ Former Cap Cities/ABC President Dan Burke Dies

Throughout the first-half of the 1990s, Dan Burke was a prominent executive at ABC.  It wasn’t divine intervention that brought Burke to the top of the management chain. Burke started with Capital Cities in 1961 as general manager for WTEN-TV in Albany. Ultimately, he would become a high-ranking executive with Cap Cities.

Burke died this morning following complicating from Type I Diabetes. He was 82.

In 1986, Capital Cities acquired ABC, which maintained ownership until Disney bought the company a decade later.

“Dan was a broadcasting pioneer who along with Tom Murphy took a small company and a big dream, and grew it into a television giant.” WABC/Channel 7 anchor Bill Ritter tells FishbowlNY. “Their purchase of the much larger ABC was a surprise to everyone except those who knew Dan and Tom.”

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TV Personalities, Top Chefs Turn Out for Charity Event

WABC anchor Bill Ritter emcees event

The Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) is holding its annual gala event next week. The 101-year-old organization has helped thousands of New Yorkers deal with hearing loss and the inability to communicate properly.

CHC is holding its yearly “Feast” Monday night at Pier 60.

WABC/Channel 7 anchor Bill Ritter hosts the event, which features food tasting from 28 of the city’s most famous chefs.

This year’s culinary artists include Iron Chef America competitor and executive chef at Butter, Alexandra Guarnaschelli; the Beacon Restaurant & Bar’s Waldy Malouf; and Ed Brown of his namesake Ed’s Chowder House.

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9/11: New York Remembers Revisited

In case you missed any of our special feature 9/11: New York Remembers, today we’re observing the 10th anniversary of the tragic day linking back to the entire series.

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Jersey Shore Remains Number One, While Hurricane Irene Brings in Strong Ratings

It’s another week with Jersey Shore taking hold of the top prime time spot in New York. The popular MTV reality show, now in its fourth season, had an estimated 1.1 million viewers and a 5.3 rating, according to the Nielsen Company.

While the Jersey Shore gang was hanging out in Italy, Hurricane Irene was bearing down on the Jersey Shore.

Every local TV station went non-stop throughout the weekend with storm coverage.

WNBC/Channel 4, had the highest rating (tied for second) among its competitors. A large reason for that can be attributed to three words–Chuck and Sue.

The long-running anchor team of Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons (more than 30 years) was at the helm for coverage Saturday night (596,000/3.0).

WABC/Channel 7, with veteran Bill Ritter and Sade Baderinwa, took fifth place (568,000/2.8) for the Saturday evening 4-segment of Irene.

WNYW/Channel 5, although not on the survey for Saturday coverage, did crack the Top 10 for its regular Ernie Anastos/Dari Alexander 10 p.m. newscast on Thursday (480,000/2.4) and Friday (510,000/2.5) as preparations got underway.

WCBS/Channel 2 anchored by Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson, landed at number 16 (405,000/2.0) for a one-hour portion Saturday night (9-10 p.m.)

More from the Top 10 after the jump

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