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Sweeps

News Directors Weigh In On Sweeps, Dog Meat

Sweeps does strange things to people.  Journalists who appear rational and level-headed for much of the year begin taking their clothes off, dating prostitutes, and ordering dog meat.

So what gives?

TVSpy asked a handful of veteran news directors from around the country to weigh in on the all-important sweeps periods.  We asked them about what makes a good story, the pressure reporters may be under to deliver big ratings, and the mistakes stations often make when sweeps roll around.  Here’s what they had to say… Read more

WJXT Saves Details of Meteorologist’s Hospitalization for Multi-Part Sweeps Story

When WJXT chief meteorologist George Winterling spent most of September in the hospital, the Jacksonville station shared virtually no information about his illness.

Now, in a multi-part sweeps series titled “George’s Miracle: What Really Happened,” WJXT is telling the story of Winterling’s apparent brush with death.  It turns out that the veteran meteorologist’s heart stopped and paramedics spent two minutes shocking him to get his pulse back.  Winterling then spent 11 days in a coma, with his body temperature reduced for much of the time to prevent further damage. Read more

WOIO Reporter Goes Topless for Story on Naked Drunk Driver

It has all the makings of a classic sweeps story. High-profile crime? Check. Courthouse confrontation? Check. Topless Reporter? Check… wait, what? Yep, topless reporter.

Last week a 28-year-old woman led police on a drunken high speed chase in northern Ohio and, after finally surrendering, she exited her car to reveal that she was wearing next to nothing. The blurry police footage of the woman flipping out in the back of a squad car, wearing little more than a thong, made the internet rounds and was picked up by a handful of international news outlets last week. Read more

Cincinnati Rivals Both Claim to Be #1

In a classic case of sweeps spin, rival Cincinnati stations WLWT and WKRC are both claiming to be #1 in the mornings.

In WLWT’s press release, president and general manager Richard Dyer boasted that the NBC-affiliate “is once again proving to be the Tri-State’s choice for how to wake up in the morning.”

Across town, Les Vann, Dyer’s counterpart at WKRC, proclaimed that his CBS-affiliate is “proud to once again be the market leader,” with “Good Morning Cincinnati” claiming the top spot in the morning.

So who’s really #1? Well they both are, to an extent.

WLWT finished in the top spot at 4:30 a.m. as well as 6:00 a.m. in Adults 25-54, while WKRC was #1 in Adults 25-54 from 5:30-7 a.m. Everyone’s a winner! [Via John Kiesewetter]

May Sweeps Scoreboard: New Orleans

“Certainly during May, we were driven in large part by the rising Mississippi river waters and flooding in the area,” said WWL anchor Mike Hoss, describing the latest sweeps period for the New Orleans market.

Here’s how stations fared in the Crescent City during May sweeps (change from May 2010 noted in parentheses)…

Household:

6:00 a.m.
5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 11 p.m.
WGNO (ABC) 0.7 (-22%) 2.4 (+72%) 1.6 (-12%) 3.1 (+25%)
WWL (CBS) 8.2 (-26%) 10.9 (-12%) 10.6 (-22%) 10.5 (-11%)
WDSU (NBC) 5.4 (+22%) 6.0 (+23%) 6.9 (+19%) 6.0 (+34%)
WVUE (Fox) 3.2 (+17%) 5.7 (-7%) N/A 8.0 (+14%)

May Sweeps Scoreboard: San Francisco

Here’s the ratings tally for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market (difference from last May noted in parentheses)…

Household:

6:00 a.m.
5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 11 p.m.
KGO (ABC) 2.2 (+47%) 4.7 (+21%) 4.5 (+25%) 4.2 (+20%)
KPIX (CBS) 0.9 (-25%) 2.2 (-19%) 1.6 (-27%) 4.2 (-2%)
KNTV (NBC) 0.8 (-33%) 1.2 (-25%) 1.2 (0%) 2.7 (+29%)
KTVU (FOX) 2.7 (-16%) 1.4 (-7%) 1.4 (-18%) N/A
KRON (MNT) 1.1 (+38%) N/A 0.9 (+29%) 0.9 (+13%)

Read more

May Sweeps Scoreboard: Philadelphia

Here’s how things went down this past sweeps period in the City of Brotherly Love…

Household:

5:00-7:00 a.m.
5:00-6:00 p.m. 6:00-6:30 p.m. 11 p.m.
KYW (CBS) 1.9 (8.0) N/A 2.5 (5.5) 6.7 (12.8)
WCAU (NBC) 1.6 (6.9) 1.8 (4.3) 2.4 (5.1) 3.9 (7.5)
WPVI (ABC) 4.1 (17.7) 6.9 (15.9) 8.1 (17.5) 8.2 (15.7)
WTXF (FOX) 1.4 (5.6) 1.4 (3.3) 1.2 (2.5) N/A

Read more

May Sweeps Scoreboard: Indianapolis

While WTHR remained dominant across the board, the NBC-affiliate’s longtime supremacy was chipped away at in May, especially in the morning. Fox-affiliate WXIN saw a 26.4% household increase for the 6 a.m. hour, moving into second place in the category behind WTHR.

Here’s a roundup of household ratings for the market (note that WXIN’s new hour-long 5 p.m. newscast replaced last May’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and WRTV added a 5:30 p.m. newscast since last year, when “Extra” aired in the time slot).

6 a.m. 5 p.m. 10 p.m. 11 p.m.
WTHR (NBC) 4.5
(- 8.6%)
7.4
(- O.3%)
N/A 8.0
(1.1%)
WRTV (ABC) 1.9
(+ 1.2%)
2.9
(-10.9%)
N/A 4.4
(+ 31.9%)
WISH (CBS) 3.6
(- 21.9%)
3.9
(- 15.2%)
N/A 7.7
(+ 3.0%)
WXIN (FOX) 3.7
(+ 26.4%)
2.4
(+ 171.7%)
7.0
(+ 11.5%)
N/A

May Sweeps Scoreboard: Pittsburgh

Spurred on by hometown hero Hines Ward’s performance on “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC-affiliate WTAE, which regularly promoted the show during its newscasts, saw significant ratings gains for the May sweeps period. That said, there was a lot of movement in the news rankings with, for instance, WPXI winning 5 p.m. while KDKA, last year’s #1 for the time period, finished in third.

Here’s a rundown…

Household:

6 a.m. 5 p.m. 6 p.m. 11 p.m.
WTAE (ABC) 5.7 7.6 7.9 8.4
WPXI (NBC) 5.1 5.9 6.3 5.7
KDKA (CBS) 4.2 7.6 7.3 9.5

Read more

May Sweeps Scoreboard: Dallas-Fort Worth

Here’s a rundown of how things looked when the dust settled in the Dallas-Fort Worth sweeps battle…

(Figures in parentheses represent audience gains or losses compared to the same period last year).

Total Viewers:

6 a.m. 5 p.m. 6 p.m. 10 p.m.
WFAA (ABC) 49,588
(-15,425)
144,539
(+31,004)
160,884
(+ 36,559)
208,325
(+ 17,360)
KTVT (CBS) 41,069
(-6,232)
119,191
(+48,613)
157,767
(+ 33,510)
206,871
(+ 11,629)
KDFW (Fox) 117,945
(+ 26,534)
118,845
(+ 34,220)
144,124
(+ 41,854)
141,769
(+ 35,350)
KXAS (NBC) 96,683
(- 8,980)
115,936
(+ 13,937)
110,118
(+ 1,605)
156,867
(+ 5,940)

Read more

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