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Nasty weather bumps news ratings; WNED isn't airing Seeger special

By Alan Pergament

If anyone is happy about the nasty, brutal, ridiculously cold weather this January, it has to be staffers in the local TV news departments.

Ratings are up in almost every news time period this January compared to January of 2013, illustrating the importance of weather in attracting news viewership.

Viewers are especially tuning in earlier to see if their children have to go school.

Channel 2's 4:30 a.m. news had about a 30 percent bump from a year ago to a 2.3 rating.

At 5 a.m., Channel 4's rating went up about 30 percent from a year ago to a 4.2 and it won the time slot.

Combined overall morning viewership was back to normal at 6 a.m., when Channel 2 was the leader.

At 7 a.m., Channel 4's news on sister station WNLO-TV rose about 55 percent to a 1.7 rating.

At 11 a.m., Channel 2's newscast rose about 15 percent to a 4.9.

At noon, Channel 4 was pretty even with a year ago at 9.3, but Channel 7 was about up about 20 percent to a 5.9.

At 6 p.m., the combined rating rose about 9 percent. Channel  2 has a 12.2, up .1 from a year ago. Channel 4 rose about 14 percent to a 12.0, putting it almost in a statistical tie with Channel 2. Channel 7 rose almost 20 percent to a 6.3.

At 10 p.m., Channel 4 on sister station WNLO rose 10 percent to a 5.5 and Channel 2 almost doubled its average of a year ago when it was carried on WNYO to a 3.7 on WUTV.

At 11 p.m., the combined rating rose about 10 percent from a year ago, with first place Channel 4 getting the biggest increase of about 18 percent to 10.0. Channel 2 rose about 11 percent to a second place 8.3.

With the death this week of legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, PBS is offering its affiliates the opportunity to re-air the 2008 American Masters episode, "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song." Many PBS markets are taking advantage of the opportunity this weekend but not WNED, the local PBS affiliate.

"It was a very late addition just announced after his death," explained WNED Station Manager Ron Santora. "It's a 90-minute documentary and frankly (we) don't have a place in the schedule to air it without creating havoc with ongoing series and specials that have been advertised and promoted.  Also they haven't indicated what the re-up rights are, so I don't know if we have the use of it for a week, a month or what.  When I know that, there might be a possibility for some time in the future."

Until then, local viewers can catch it online at

Fans of Buffalo native David Boreanaz will be pleased to know that his Fox series, “Bones,” will have a tenth season. It is still very popular in WNY despite being moved to Friday nights. It is moving again to 8 p.m. Mondays on March 10 after the run of "Almost Human" ends.

Clarification: Channel 2 News Director Jeff Woodard reports that if Channel 2 airs another Investigative Post story that includes an interview with Erin Heaney, executive director of the Clear Air Coalition, then the "station will clearly identify her" as the daughter of IP editor and executive director Jim Heaney.

Woodard and Heaney, who IP has a partnership with Channel 2, aren't complaining about a Wednesday Talkin’ TV blog but they wanted to clarify a statement that the news director made that Heaney was "out of the loop" in stories done by IP’s Dan Telvock involving the Clean Air Coalition that included televised interviews with Heaney’s daughter.

In an email, they wrote that Heaney first edits Telvock's stories in his two-man operation and IP Board President Lee Coppola does the final edit before it goes to Channel 2, which also can edit it. They added Woodard meant Heaney was "out of the loop" when it came to revisions of the TV scripts and the video production of the stories once they reach Channel 2.

They said they wanted to make that clarification to be upfront about a situation that they concede isn't  perfect.


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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

@StillTalkinTV |