By Alan Pergament
With one week remaining in the November sweeps, Channel 2's "Daybreak" has retaken the lead over Channel 4's "Wake Up!" by the slimmest of margins.
Channel 2 is ahead, 5.9-5.8, at 6 a.m., with the tenth of a point lead essentially a statistical tie.
Still it is good news for Channel 2, which had fallen behind Channel 4's new team of co-anchors Teresa Weakley and Jordan Williams and meteorologist Todd Santos in the first two weeks of the sweeps.
But the closeness of the race also is good news for Channel 4, which a year ago was losing, 7.4-4.7, in the time slot.
At 5 a.m., Channel 4 and Channel 2 are tied at 3.6. Channel 2 held a .3 edge a year ago.
There was more bad news for Channel 7's new "Good Morning" crew of Tiffany Lundberg and Cole Heath, as the 5 a.m. newscast lost more than one third of its audience from a year ago and is now at 1.1. It lost about one third of its 6 a.m. audience as well to a 1.8.
The only other significant news from the first three weeks of the sweeps is Channel 2 leads Channel 4 at 6 p.m., 11.4-10.1. A year ago, Channel 4 held a slim victory edge.
Channel 2 now leads from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, while Channel 4 continues to win at 10 p.m. (when the newscasts are on different stations) and at 11 p.m.
Channel 2's 6 p.m. and Channel 4's 11 p.m. newscasts are the only evening newscasts on those stations that had higher viewership than they had a year ago as cumulative news audiences have fallen from a year ago in all time slots.
Channel 2's heavily-promoted new website debut Wednesday appears to be a copy of the website of USA Today, which is owned by the same company. According to reports, Gannett plans to have all of its TV stations copy the website of its national newspaper.
Channel 2 takes a nice subtle shot in promos at Channel 4's tendency to call so many of its stories "investigations." Channel 2's promos for its investigative team includes the line "investigations that matter." The implication is that many of Channel 4's don't matter.
Channel 4's latest segment of its "Dicey Dining" series, called "Dicey School Dining," wasn't exactly worthy of an A. The conclusion of Luke Moretti's report was that sometimes school cafeterias get failing grades for health code violations, but the schools quickly correct their mistakes. Who would have thought?
The consolidation of master control at PBS stations in New York state in a cost-cutting move similar to what is being done at commercial stations has led to the elimination of two positions at WNED-TV, the local PBS affiliate. A station spokesperson said another employee received another job at the station and a fourth who planned to retire stayed to assist in the transition. Master control for the stations now is done in Syracuse.
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