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A new front-and-center promo for rising Daybreak star Demetria Obilor

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
TEGNA8’s Daybreak lately has blasted past NBC5 from 6 to 7 a.m. in the key 25-to-54-year-old news demographic. The Dallas-based station for now seems to be firmly in the runner-up spot, although still well behind Fox4.

One of the reasons clearly is Demetria Obilor, who became Daybreak’s new traffic reporter and social media maven in late October.

Obilor is not at all shy about showcasing herself, as anyone can see on youtube. And TEGNA8 is trying to keep up with her via promos that accentuate her distinguishing characteristics.

A new spot has Obilor proclaiming “I am unexpected. I am unstoppable.” She’s also stealing the show as a complete U-turn from portly Sergeant Nick (Bristow), the uniformed DeSoto police officer who preceded Obilor as Daybreak’s traffic cop.

Here’s the latest Obilor spot. Of course, it’s an attention-getter.



Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., April 18-19) -- everyone's a prime-time winner, save for NBC

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
ABC’s Thursday series finale of Scandal took the 9 p.m. hour in both major ratings measurements, but still couldn’t outdraw the network’s ever-potent Grey’s Anatomy in the D-FW Nielsens.

Scandal sucked in 192,297 total viewers and 65,533 in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic. Grey’s led off the night with 213,663 total viewers and 84,256 in the 18-to-49 age range. That was good enough to win from 7 to 8 p.m. among 18-to-49ers, but the total viewers firsts went to CBS’ competing The Big Bang Theory (348,983) and Young Sheldon (320,495).

CBS also commanded the 8 p.m. hour in total viewers with Mom and Life In Pieces while ABC’s new Grey’s spinoff, Station 19, beat both CBS sitcoms in the 18-to-49 realm.

NBC continued to crater at 8:30 p.m. with the freshman comedy Champions, which bottomed out with just 28,488 total viewers and 9,362 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

In Wednesday’s prime-time tallies, the 7 to 10 p.m. winners in total viewers were CBS’ Survivor, Fox’s Star and Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast. Among 18-to-49-year-olds, Survivor, Star and Fox4’s news likewise set the pace. Survivor ranked as the night’s biggest overall draw in both total viewers (249,274) and with 18-to-49-year-olds (84,256).

Here are the Wednesday and Thursday local news derby results.

Wednesday -- Perhaps “exceedingly rare” should be taken out of the double grand slam equation -- at least where Fox4 is concerned. It doesn’t happen often, but Fox4 did it again with sweeps at 6 a.m. and 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

With the four-week May “sweeps” ratings period firing up on Thursday, April 26th, Fox4 is well-positioned to win all four slots among 25-to-54-year-olds and also take the total viewers gold at 6 a.m. The total viewers competitions otherwise are up for grabs.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 stepped up to win at 10 p.m. in both ratings measurements while Fox4 as usual did likewise at 6 a.m.

At 6 p.m., NBC5 and CBS11 shared the lead in total viewers while the Peacock won outright with 25-to-54-year-olds. The 5 p.m. firsts went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Local TV News Note: Brittany Jeffers, who left the CBS11 news department last month, has joined Houston’s NBC station, KRPC-TV, as a reporter.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

How do you play it? Fox4, NBC5, TEGNA8, CBS11 had testing choices Tuesday night between the death of Barbara Bush and a Southwest Airlines in-flight engine failure that left one person dead

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
D-FW’s four major TV news providers had something of an editorial dilemma Tuesday night.

On their 10 p.m. editions, Fox4, NBC5, TEGNA8 and CBS11 had to choose between leading with the death of Barbara Bush at age 92 or an in-flight Southwest Airlines engine failure that caused the death of one passenger and left several others injured.

Both stories have significant local angles. Mrs. Bush, who died at her Houston home, is both a former First Lady and the mother of a former United States President and Texas governor, George W. Bush, who lives in Dallas with his wife, Laura. His presidential museum is also located here.

Southwest Airlines is based in Dallas, and Flight 1380 was en route from New York to the city’s Love Field late Tuesday morning before an emergency landing was made in Philadelphia. Passenger Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, NM, died of her injuries after being sucked partially out of one of the plane’s windows.

Fox4 and CBS11 led their newscasts with coverage of Barbara Bush’s death while NBC5 and TEGNA8 began with reports on the Southwest Airlines tragedy. What was the thinking behind those decisions?

NBC5 and CBS11 both offered on-the-record responses. Fox4 declined to comment because the station’s general policy is to not elaborate on editorial decisions, a New York-based spokesperson said via telephone through the usual corporate channels.

TEGNA8 news director Carolyn Mungo as usual ignored an inquiry from unclebarky.com on her station’s story play.

CBS11 director of communications Lori Conrad said that “because the Southwest Airlines incident occurred much earlier in the day, we covered it extensively at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. Our 6 p.m. newscast had ended when we received word of Mrs. Bush’s passing, so we felt it was only appropriate to lead with that story at 10 p.m.”

NBC5 vice president of news Mark Ginther said the station was “going to lead with Barbara Bush (at 10 p.m.). However, at 8 p.m., Southwest Airlines announced they were going to be looking at the engines on their entire fleet. That prompted the switch.”

On my unclebarkycom Twitter page Tuesday night, I posted the respective decisions of the four stations and also said I would have led with Barbara Bush’s death because it was “far more significant on the grand scale of events.” I also asked how others would have played the two stories.

Responses poured in, some of them from former or current local media players.

Veteran CBS11 reporter Steve Pickett noted that today’s news coverage “centers on the ‘happening now’ quotient. News teams were anticipating the Love Field arrival of local people who endured a horrific event. Mrs. Bush’s passing also resonates with Texans, and hearing the latest insights and thoughts (are) equally relevant.”

Former TEGNA8 news anchor Gloria Campos said, “Whoa, that’s a tough one. As I recall, we always tried to anticipate what others would lead with, but I think the outpouring on social media (in remembrance of Barbara Bush) speaks loudly.”

Radio host Mark Davis, long an outspoken conservative, at first agreed it was a “tough call” because the “Southwest story (is) immediate, unexpected and local angle. Barbara Bush’s passing (a) far bigger story but expected. On balance, go with the one that is more impactful to history, and that’s Barbara.”

Davis later “retracted” his initial response. “Leading with air disaster is sensationalism,” he tweeted. “NO choice but to lead with Barbara Bush. GMA leads with plane story (this morning), and it just feels so wrong.”

Gina Miller, a former sports anchor and reporter for TEGNA8 and CBS11, also went with the Barbara Bush lead. Her reasoning: “It’s more ‘now’ -- happened later in the day -- more impactful &, granted it’s by a narrow margin, more local given George W. lives here.”

TEGNA8 early morning reporter Chris Sadeghi came closest to providing something of a response from his station (although not an official one). He registered a “like” of a Tweet from realAudaciousfrump, who said Barbara Bush’s death should not have been the lead story. “3 reasons,” she explained. “A woman died on that flight, the flight was coming to Dallas, and the company is based in Dallas.”

In the printed page domain, The Dallas Morning News played both stories on the front page above the fold. But Mrs. Bush got a big, four-column “Fierce and feisty” headline and a companion four-column picture of the former First Lady with one of her springer spaniels. The Southwest tragedy occupied the other top-of-the-page single column, with the headline, “Engine failure kills 1 on flight.”

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Tues., April 16-17) -- leadoff hitters NCIS and Roseanne again circle the bases

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
New episodes of CBS’ NCIS and ABC’s Roseanne squared off again Tuesday night, with both coming out on top.

NCIS pulled in prime-time’s biggest haul of D-FW viewers with 334,739 while Roseanne ranked a runaway first with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds (109,221). That matched Roseanne’s performance from last Tuesday in the 18-to-49-year-old realm. But the show up-ticked a bit in total viewers, drawing 284,488 compared to the previous episode’s 270,649 opposite an NCIS rerun.

CBS dominated from 8 to 10 p.m. in total viewers with its regular lineup of Bull (327,617) and NCIS: New Orleans (277,762). But both dramas as usual fell off with 18-to-49-year-olds, where the time slot winners were ABC’s black-ish and Splitting Up Together and Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast.

The new Splitting Up Together looks as though it could be a keeper for next season. But another ABC freshman sitcom, Alex, Inc., likely dug a grave for itself in a do-or-die test of its ratings strength in a special slot immediately following Roseanne. The Zach Braff comedy plunged to just 56,977 total viewers and 21,844 in the 18-to-49 realm before black-ish and Splitting Up Together built ABC’s audience back up.

On Monday from 7 to 9 p.m., ABC’s American Idol took a severe beating in total viewers. Staggering in with an average of 113,954 for the two hours, Idol was whipped by NBC’s two-hour edition of The Voice (Monday’s prime-time leader with 242,151), Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of The Resident and CBS’ comedy quartet of Kevin Can Wait, Man with a Plan, Superior Donuts and even Living Biblically.

In the 18-to-49-year-old demographic, Idol ran behind The Voice and The Resident. Monday’s 9 p.m. hour went to CBS’ Scorpion in total viewers and NBC’s Good Girls among 18-to-49ers.

Here are Monday’s and Tuesday’s local news derby results.

Monday -- TEGNA8 and CBS11 shared the total viewers lead at 10 p.m. while TEGNA8 was alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 won at 6 a.m. in both ratings measurements and also ran first at 5 and 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds. The station tied NBC5 for the most total viewers at 5 p.m., and TEGNA8 won outright in this measurement at 6 p.m.

Tuesday -- CBS11 had its best day in a long while, ranking first in total viewers at 5,6 and 10 p.m.

Fox4 otherwise claimed all the spoils, sweeping the 6 a.m. competitions as usual and adding 5, 6 and 10 p.m. wins with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., April 13-15) -- Idol again drowned out by competing music special

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
On Easter Sunday night, it was NBC’s live Jesus Christ Superstar rising above ABC’s American Idol reboot in the D-FW Nielsens.

Two Sundays later, CBS’ three-hour Academy of Country Music awards, hosted by Reba McEntire, sent Idol down for the count.

The ACMs averaged 370,349 viewers from 7 to 10 p.m., with 87,377 in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic for those three hours.

Idol, which again ran from 7 to 9 p.m., limped in with 142,442 total viewers and 40,568 in the 18-to-49 realm.

On ABC, George Stephanopoulos’s 9 p.m. interview with fired FBI director James Comey did solid business with 220,785 total viewers and 53,050 in the 18-to-49 realm.

It was a busy night in the cable universe, too. AMC’s 8 p.m. season finale of The Walking Dead, now something of a dead man walking compared to its once dominant ratings, pulled in 170,930 total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour. It had 87,377 viewers in the key 18-to-49-year-old measurement, the same as the ACMs overall. But the country music shebang won from 8 to 9 p.m. opposite Walking Dead with a higher draw of 93,618 viewers.

AMC’s 9 p.m. season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead then dropped to 78,343 total viewers and 40,568 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Over on ESPN, ropy poly, 44-year-old Texas Rangers pitcher Bartolo Colon astonishingly had a perfect game for seven innings against the world champion Houston Astros on their field. Interest peaked to the tune of 142,442 total viewers between 8:45 and 9:15 p.m. After Colon gave up a walk, a hit and a run, the ratings quickly dropped to less than half that crowd for the rest of the game, which the Rangers won 3-1 in 10 innings.

TNT’s closely fought Houston Rockets-Minnesota Timberwolves playoff game hit a higher peak audience of 178,053 total viewers between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m.

Friday’s prime-time pacesetter in total viewers again was CBS’ Blue Bloods with 213,663 in its regular 9 p.m. slot. NBC’s Taken, Fox’s Masterchef Junior and Fox4’s local 9 p.m. newscast tied for the prime-time lead among 18-to-49ers with 37,447 apiece.

Finally, here are Friday’s four-way local news derby results.

Capitalizing on the Blue Bloods lead-in, CBS11 enjoyed its most dominating win in recent memory among total viewers at 10 p.m. But Fox4 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also lapped up the rest of the gravy, sweeping the 6 a.m. and 5 and 6 p.m. competitions.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net