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Scripps gets an eyeful from Ch.7's May results; Ch.4 gains

By Alan Pergament

The E.W. Scripps Company now is expected to take over ownership of Channel 7 in mid-June or a little later.

That gives it a few weeks to digest the results of the May sweeps to see what it is facing in trying to become more competitive with its rivals.

Channel 7 starts off the day with a 1.0 rating for the first hour of "Good Morning," which is about 30 percent of what Channel 4 and Channel 2 (3.6 each) get at that hour and about half of what it received a year ago. The 1 rating means 1 percent of Western New York households are tuned in at that early hour.

"Good Morning," which is co-anchored by Cole Heath and Tiffany Lundberg, doubles its rating to a 2.1 at 6 a.m., which is about 30 percent of what first place Channel 2 gets for "Daybreak" (6.5) and about 40 percent of what second place Channel 4 (5.2) receives for "Wake Up!"

Channel 7 is most competitive at noon, where it finished second with a 4.2 rating to a 7.0 for first place Channel 4 in the two-way competition.  That is about a 10 percent bump from a year ago. Of course, the ABC affiliate is helped at noon by the lead-in it gets from "The View." 

Channel 2 doesn't compete at noon. Channel 7’s noon newscast gets a higher rating than Channel 2’s 11 a.m. newscast, which had a 3.1 rating.

Channel 7 is a weak third in the 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. news block. The newscasts were flat with the ratings a year ago at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and up slightly at 5:30 p.m.

Channel 7 has a 2.5 rating at 5 p.m., which is 30 percent of the rating that first place Channel 2 (8.3) gets and about 40 percent of what second place Channel 4 (6.0) gets.

Channel 7's rating grows to a 3.4 at 5: 30 p.m., which is about 45 percent of what first place Channel 2 gets (7.7) and about 55 percent of what Channel 4 (6.5) gets.

At 6 p.m., Channel 7 gets a 4.7 rating, which is about half of what its rivals receive.

At 11 p.m., Channel 7 averages a 4.2, which is less than half of what first place Channel 4 (8.6)receives and about 65 percent of what second place Channel 2 (6.6) receives.

Clearly, all these figures show that Scripps has a big job ahead of it to become competitive. It plans to do a research survey to help decide what needs to be done to be more competitive.

You don’t need to spend a dime on research to know that the station needs to add some specialty reporters, especially an investigative reporter. It also needs to add news veterans behind the scenes and in front of the camera, and pump up its promotion.

That's my free advice.

It is official. As speculated Wednesday, Channel 4 finished in first place at 6 p.m. for the first time in six sweeps periods. Channel 4 averaged a 9.9 at 6 p.m., Channel 2 a 9.3. A year ago, Channel 2 won, 9.4-8.5. Channel 2 had won the previous five sweeps.

It was a very strong May sweeps for Channel 4, which tied for first at 5 a.m. with Channel 2 and won at noon, 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. It improved or tied its ratings in every news time period but at 11 p.m., where it dropped slightly but stayed a big No.1.

Channel 2 tied at 5 a.m. and won at 6 a.m., 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Its ratings were flat or lower everywhere but at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. from a year ago.

Of course, a bigger picture will emerge in a few weeks with the arrival of demographics that are so important to advertisers.


Television | TV news
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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.

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