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Ch.4 is election night winner; Bentley defends Buffalo weather

By Alan Pergament

The local news winner on Election Night at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. was Channel 4 by close to landslide margins.

The CBS affiliate usually wins those time periods, but Channel 2 might have expected a 11 p.m. boost from the lead-in from a two-hour edition of the popular NBC series "The Voice."

It didn't happen.

"The Voice" slipped in the second hour but gave Channel 2 a decent news lead-in. However, Channel 4 got a much stronger one from "Person of Interest" and easily cruised to a 11 p.m. victory. The rating for its post-Election results newscast (9.9) was more than the combined rating for Channel 2 (5.7) and Channel 7 (4.0).

I don't know if Channel 2's decision to be the only station at 11 p.m. to lead with the story about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitting to smoking crack cocaine over Western New York results had anything to do with Channel 4's victory margin but it certainly didn't help the NBC affiliate. Channel 2's  11 p.m. newscast had the biggest ratings drop from 11p.m. to 11:15. Bizarre decisions like that can damage a station's news image.  

Channel 4 ran the Ford story about 10 minutes into its 11 p.m. newscast and Channel 7 ran it even later than that.

At 10 p.m., Channel 4's newscast on WNLO-TV (6.4) had a rating twice as high as Channel 2's on WUTV (3.1).

Channel 4's "Wake Up" also was ahead with its pre-election coverage over Channel 2's "Daybreak" from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Channel 2 was ahead at 5 p.m and 6 p.m., with Channel 4 ahead at 5:30. Channel 7 was third in all time slots that it competed, hitting a low of 1.5 at 5 p.m. and a high of 5.2 at 6 p.m.

Former Buffalo Bill Ray Bentley gave Western New York a weather boost during the University at Buffalo's 30-3 victory over Ohio Tuesday night on ESPN2.

When play-by-play man Dave Lamont noted that the weather for the game "was pleasant in Buffalo," Bentley added "always is."

After a pause, I think I heard Bentley adding "not going to buy that, huh?"

While members of the local media and fans seem to think the Bills are on the right track despite their 3-6 record, the team isn't getting much respect from Michael Wilbon of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption." On Wednesday, he predicted both the winless Jacksonville Jaguars and winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers would beat the Bills. Ouch. If that happens, all the positive vibes from this season will quickly disappear.

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