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Former CBS11 morning anchor Brendan Higgins reaches agreement with Aspen authorities

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
There has been a resolution in the case involving Aspen, Colo. authorities and former CBS11 early morning news anchor Brendan Higgins.

In a statement sent Friday afternoon to unclebarky.com and other outlets, Higgins said he will have no further comment on the matter. As first reported on unclebarky.com in August, Higgins was arrested in August by Aspen authorities and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. A police report said that Higgins, 46, allegedly was severely intoxicated at the time. CBS11 then quickly dropped him.

Here is Higgins’ complete statement:

“I have entered a deferred prosecution agreement with the City of Aspen that will ensure all the municipal court charges against me will be dropped within six months. As I said shortly after my arrest, I am deeply sorry for the negative attention this situation brought to my family, our friends, my coworkers and the hard-working authorities in Aspen. While unfortunate, this incident has provided a valuable lesson that I will not soon forget, and I dearly appreciate the many messages of support sent to my family and me over the past couple months. We are looking forward to moving on to bigger, brighter things.”

CBS11 news staffer Jason Allen has been co-anchoring the station’s early morning newscasts with incumbent Adrienne Bankert after Higgins’ departure. But CBS11 representatives say no decision has been made regarding a full-time early morning anchor.

The No. 4-rated program’s picture got blurrier Friday after unclebarky.com’s post that traffic reporter Whitney Drolen has resigned and plans to get out of the television business.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Traffic reporter Whitney Drolen leaves CBS11 (updated)

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Whitney Drolen, early morning traffic reporter for D-FW’s CBS11 since August 2012, has left the station.

Drolen confirmed, in an email to unclebarky.com, that she resigned on Friday morning, Oct. 24th.

“I’m always grateful for the opportunities I have been given,” she said. “However, I’m really looking forward to the next chapter. A chapter that I feel will be much more healthy for me emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally.”

She did not specify further. Drolen’s bio already has been removed from CBS11’s website. Lori Conrad, the station’s director of communications, said Drolen “told us that she has decided to leave the (TV) business.”

Drolen, who joined CBS11 from CBS-owned stations KCBS and KCAL in Los Angeles, previously received heavy promotion in “Rollin’ with Drolen” spots that touted her traffic expertise. She replaced Teresa Frosini, who became a general assignment reporter for CBS11 but left the station in July of this year.

There’s no word yet on Drolen’s permanent replacement. Former longtime NBC5 traffic reporter Tammy Dombeck has been CBS11’s fill-in traffic reporter since March of last year. Conrad said that Dombeck “will fill in until a replacement is named.”

CBS11 currently ranks fourth in the early morning news ratings. The station has been without early morning co-anchor Brendan Higgins since August. He was dropped by CBS11 after unclebarky.com reported his arrest in Aspen, Colorado on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Staffer Jason Allen has been filling in since.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Oct. 23) -- CBS closes out Thursday Night Football on another winning note

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS said goodbye to its inaugural telecasts of Thursday Night Football by again dominating the prime-time Nielsens.

The only dent was the first half-hour of the Broncos-Chargers matchup, which lost among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds to ABC’s 7:30 to 8 p.m. portion of Grey’s Anatomy.

The Broncos’ 35-21 win otherwise averaged 395,518 total viewers in D-FW, with 157,690 in the 18-to-49 realm. The NFL Network’s simulcast tacked on another 55,792 total viewers, with 18,923 in the 18-to-49 age range.

CBS resumes its regular entertainment lineup next week while the rest of the Thursday night football schedule will be shown solely on the NFL Network. The CBS team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will remain in the booth, though.

ABC had another solid second place finish Thursday night, led by How to Get Away with Murder in total viewers (285,934) and Grey’s Anatomy among 18-to-49ers (138,767). The least-watched show among the Big Four broadcast networks, NBC’s new A to Z sitcom, drew just 69,740 total viewers. A to Z also ranked in the basement with 18-to-49-year-olds (15,769).

In Thursday’s local news derby results, Gannett8 cleaned up in a downsized 10 p.m. race with lopsided wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and Gannett8 did likewise at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. golds went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Oct. 22) -- Game 2's a gamer

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Facing less formidable competition, Fox’s Game 2 of the World Series won from start to stop with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds while being outdrawn in total D-FW viewers by just one viewing alternative.

That would be CBS’ Criminal Minds, which had 278,960 total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour compared to 271,986 for the Series. From 7 to 7:30 p.m., ABC’s The Middle and Fox’s combo of pre-game stuff and the game itself tied in total viewers with 223,168 apiece.

Running until 10:33 p.m., the Kansas City Royals’ 7-2 win over the San Francisco Giants averaged 265,012 total viewers and 122,998 in the 18-to-49 demographic. The most-watched competing program among 18-to-49-year-olds, ABC’s 8 p.m. episode of Modern Family, had 116,691 viewers.

So that’s not bad overall and great if you’re Fox, whose regular fall prime-time lineup has for the most part played dead.

NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura and ABC’s The Goldbergs tied for the least-watched program among 18-to-49-year-olds in the Big Four broadcast network universe. Each drew 31,538.

Here are Wednesday’s local news derby numbers.

In a downsized 10 p.m. race, Gannett8 and CBS11 tied in total viewers while Gannett8 was alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 did likewise at both 5 and 6 p.m.

Local Programming Note: As you may have noticed, for “One Incredible Night,” Gannett8 will be next week’s Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins Monday Night Football game. NFL rules dictate that its games also be made available on a free over-the-air broadcast station in the two competing teams’ markets. Cable’s ESPN otherwise has the sole rights to Monday Night Football in the rest of the country.

This is the first time in memory that WFAA has bought the rights to a Monday Night Football game after ABC bequeathed the rights to ESPN following the 2005 season.

In this case there’s no D-FW “sister station” to carry the displaced programs. So ABC’s Dancing with the Stars is scheduled to air at 12:57 a.m. Tuesday followed by Castle at 2:58 a.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Oct. 21) --Tough at bat for Fox's Game 1 of World Series

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
A one-sided and elongated Game 1 of the World Series fared far better for Fox than its usual weak-kneed Tuesday night lineup.

Still, it was no home run. Maybe a ground rule double, though.

The San Francisco Giants’ 7-1 rout of the Kansas City Royals seemed to go on forever, but actually ran only from 7:09 to 10:41 p.m. In its last full 15-minute segment, the World Series was outdrawn in total D-FW viewers by the second halves of local newscasts on WFAA8 and NBC5 while barely beating CBS11.

Let’s look at the hour-by-hour prime-time results, in which only ABC completely struck out.

7 to 8 P.M.

Total Viewers
NCIS (CBS) -- 418,440
The Voice (NBC) -- 334,752
World Series -- 230,142
The Flash (CW) -- 69,740
Selfie (ABC) -- 27,896
Manhattan Love Story (ABC) -- 34,870

Advertiser-prized 18-to-49-Year-Olds
The Voice -- 145,075
World Series -- 97,768
NCIS -- 50,461
The Flash -- 25,230
Manhattan Love Story -- 9,461
Selfie -- 6,308

8 to 9 P.M.

Total Viewers
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) -- 355,674
World Series -- 265,012
Marry Me (NBC) -- 160,402
About a Boy (NBC) -- 111,584
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) -- 97,636
Supernatural (CW) -- 34,870

18-to-49-Year-Olds
World Series -- 116,691
Marry Me -- 53,615
NCIS: New Orleans -- 40,999
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- 37,846
About a Boy -- 34,692
Supernatural -- 22,077

9 to 10 P.M.

Total Viewers
World Series -- 223,168
Person of Interest (CBS) -- 209,220
Chicago Fire (NBC) -- 209,220
Forever (ABC) -- 76,714

18-to-49-Year-Olds
World Series -- 104,075
Chicago Fire -- 59,922
Person of Interest -- 28,384
Forever -- 25,230

A close game would have meant an uptick from 9 to 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds. Instead the opposite happened, although the World Series still won comfortably among 18-to-49-year-olds from 8 to 10 p.m. and also edged Person of Interest and Chicago Fire from 9 to 10 p.m. in total viewers.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results.

Gannett8 bucked a lousy lead-in from Forever to win a downsized three-way 10 p.m. race in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept both the 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. competitions. And NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net