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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Aug. 16) -- Big Bro bounces back

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Out of harm’s way -- namely Wednesday night’s competing America’s Got Talent with its first live results show of the season -- CBS’ Big Brother returned to dominance Thursday.

BB easily led all prime-time TV attractions in both total D-FW viewers (213,663) and with advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds (112,342). Which means that more than half the show’s audience was in the “desired” 18-to-49-year-old motherlode. No other CBS show, including new episodes of The Big Bang Theory, can match that.

ABC plugged in a one-hour Aretha Franklin tribute at 7 p.m. It drew 56,977 total viewers, with 15,603 in the 18-to-49 realm. The “Queen of Soul” died Thursday at the age of 76.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but TEGNA8 was alone in first among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 as usual/always swept the 6 a.m. competitions. At 6 p.m., TEGNA8 had the most total viewers while tying Fox4 and NBC5 for the lead with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The 5 p.m. golds went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues.-Wed., Aug. 14-15) -- AGT & BB punch/counterpunch

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC’s America’s Got Talent went to the first live results show of its latest season Wednesday night, and it showed in direct competition with the usual 7 p.m. winner, CBS’ Big Brother.

AGT pulled in 348,983 D-FW viewers in crunching BB’s runner-up 220,785. But Big Brother fought back among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing 106,100 in pounding America’s Got Talent down into second place with 71,738.

NBC then won the 8 to 9 p.m. hour in total viewers with the first half of World of Dance (142,442) before narrowly losing from 9 to 10 p.m. to Fox4’s local newscast (149,564). The hour-to-hour results were the same among 18-to-49-year-olds.

In Tuesday’s prime-time proceedings, AGT easily ranked as the night’s biggest scorer in both total viewers (341,861) and with 18-to-49ers (71,774).

Here are the local news derby results for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday -- Fox4 swept the 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. races in both total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

TEGNA8 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while NBC5 took the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds. At 5 p.m., Fox4 and the Peacock tied for the lead in total viewers, with Fox4 along in first among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Wednesday -- NBC5 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m., and Fox4 again won with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 remained impregnable at 6 a.m. with another sweep. NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while the Peacock had the 25-to-54 gold to itself.

CBS11 broke through for a 5 p.m. win with 25-to-54-year-olds, with NBC5 drawing the most total viewers.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Passed over once, Laurie Passman perseveres and gets the prize as CBS11's news director

Laurie Passman
By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
It’s been an up and down ride for Laurie Passman, who on Thursday was named D-FW-based CBS11’s vice president and news director after being bypassed for that position in January 2017.

President and general manager Gary Schneider praised Passman as “a seasoned professional who has demonstrated excellent news judgment and management skills.”

Passman had been acting news director for five months after CBS11 parted ways with Mike Garber in August 2016. But the station eventually went outside to hire Andrea Parquet-Taylor as news director. She arrived in February of last year from WNCN-TV in Raleigh-Durham, NC, where she’d been news director since 2011.

Passman returned to her assistant news director post at CBS11. But in July of this year, Parquet-Taylor was promoted to vice president and station manager of CBS11 and its sister station, TXA21. Passman again became interim news director, and now finally has the job on a permanent basis.

In a statement Thursday, Passman thanked Schneider and Parquet-Taylor for “believing in me and allowing me the opportunity to lead this talented team of news professionals. This newsroom has done an amazing job of putting our community first, and I look forward to continuing that mission.”

Before joining CBS11, Passman had been assistant news director at KTVK-TV in Phoenix.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Shipp trying to get his game on again with new website aimed at righting perceived wrongs

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Ex-TEGNA8 investigator Brett Shipp as pictured on his new website.

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Former TEGNA8 investigative reporter Brett Shipp is hoping to reinvent his wheelhouse after leaving the Dallas-based station late last year to run unsuccessfully for Congress.

On his new website, brettshippmedia.com, Shipp positions himself as a much-lauded avenging angel who can put his experience and contacts to work for aggrieved citizens seeking “justice, equity, publicity and in some cases, sweet revenge.”

“MY JOB IS TO INVESTIGATE, ADVOCATE, AND HELP COMMUNICATE YOUR STORY; NOT IN THE COURT OF LAW, BUT IN THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION,” Shipp says in bold capital letters on his site’s home page. He’s charging a $250 “consultation fee” for starters in order to “assure my quick attention and dedication to your needs.”

Shipp surprised many of his TEGNA8 colleagues and fellow local journalists by abruptly quitting the station in December to enter the Democratic primary in the 32nd congressional district, where Republican Pete Sessions is the incumbent. He was 59 at the time and had spent 22 years at TEGNA8, where Shipp and colleague Byron Harris (who retired in October 2015) won multiple prestigious national Peabody and duPont Columbia awards.

But in the March 6, 2018 primary, Shipp placed third and failed to make the Democratic runoff, which eventually was won by Colin Allred. He makes scant mention of his failed candidacy on brettshippmedia.com, noting a “brief run for Congress” before “I immediately began fielding requests from citizens to get back into the media world.”

Shipp claims to “have access to all of the major local and national news outlets and a network of influential allies to make sure that your voice is heard. I’ve been covering news in North Texas for 25 years and have keys to the halls of power.” He also notes the numerous latter day venues beyond local newscasts, radio stations or newspapers, including “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube -- the list goes on and on. There’s a new universe of media platforms starved for content.”

Never shy about touting his accomplishments, Shipp tells prospective clients that “to this day I remain one of the most highly decorated local television reporters in the country.” He also has sometimes taunted the subjects of his investigations. In 2010, Shipp’s probe into Southlake Carroll’s high-powered football program included his grandstanding promo in a Facebook post that was deleted after unclebarky.com called attention to it.

“Tonight at Ten on News 8: Forget the QB,” Shipp had bragged. “Southlake’s coaches are in hot water. What’s more, see what happens when they invite Number 1 ranked Trinity into the hot tub with them. Sniff, sniff!!!! Is that the smell of two cooked seasons?”

“I have been accused of being an advocate and not a reporter,” Shipp says on his new website. “My response? Damn right. In fact, engrave that on my tombstone, With the decline in investigative reporting in this country, there are fewer public advocates. That’s where I come in. Who better to have on your side when you’re under attack, in a fight or feel the deck is stacked against you?”

Shipp is by no means the only D-FW television journalist to fire up his own company in hopes of generating stories for consumption by various media outlets. David Margulies (TEGNA8), Susan Risdon (NBC5), Jeff Crilley (Fox4), Mike Androvett (NBC5) and Paul Adrian (Fox4) are among the many who are in business for themselves. Former TEGNA8 anchor-reporter Jeff Brady tried for a while to go the same route but eventually gave up and joined San Antonio’s KENS-TV as a weeknight news anchor.

Videos of five investigations from his time at TEGNA8 are posted on brettshippmedia.com, in addition to one by former colleague Rebeca Lopez.

“I have made more alliances and helped more people achieve justice than perhaps any reporter in this city,” Shipp says. “Of course, I have also probably made more enemies, too. I have never been afraid to step on the toes of powerful politicians and abusive corporations.”

His most notable enemy is Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, with whom Shipp has had both verbal and physical altercations over the years. When Shipp announced his congressional candidacy, Price said he had “an ice cube’s chance in hell” of winning.”

Shipp at times also doesn’t like his own toes being stepped on. He has not talked to your friendly content provider since October of 2016, when he strongly objected to being accurately quoted while moderating a Dallas VideoFest event titled “How the News Got Made.” Neither of Shipp’s two remarks about TEGNA8 were played prominently in the story. One of them concerned sports anchor Dale Hansen’s contributions to the Southern Methodist University “death penalty” investigation in 1987 and the other was on how he’d “get fired” by TEGNA8 if he disclosed his opinion on the quality of today’s television news.

In an email sent two days after the story was posted, Shipp said, “You take a couple of throw away laugh lines at a happy film festival and maliciously sow enmity between me and my colleagues. You are a said, sick man. I truly feel sorry for you.”

He refused to engage further on the matter, but promises to be his usual pit bull self in the interests of any clients that brettshippmedia obtains.

“No, not everybody likes me,” Shipp says. “The crooks, the con-men, the people who abuse power. They run from me.”

He’d like to keep it that way.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Aug. 13) -- big night for Fox4's news

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast carried the day and the night Monday, ranking as D-FW’s most-watched TV attraction in two major ratings food groups.

It drew the most total viewers (163,808) while also ranking tops with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds (46,809 viewers).

In the preceding 7 to 9 p.m. slot, NBC’s American Ninja Warrior won in total viewers with 128,198, and ABC’s competing Bachelor in Paradise had the upper hand with 18-to-49ers (43,688).

CBS’ 8 p.m. episode of Salvation bottomed out with 71,221 total viewers and 9,362 in the 18-to-49 realm to rank last in that hour among the Big Four broadcast networks.

Here are Monday’s four-way local news derby results.

Fox4 won at both 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). The 6 to 9 a.m. portion of its Good Day outdrew the combined audience for local and network programming on rivals NBC5, TEGNA8 and CBS11. In the 6 a.m. hour, CBS11’s local offering continued its late summer mini-resurgence with a runner-up finish among 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11 also ran the table at 6 p.m. and drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 p.m. NBC5 won in total viewers at 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Aug. 10-12) -- with Woods contending, PGA Championship surpasses par for the course

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Tiger Woods was in it to win it, and the D-FW ratings reacted accordingly for Sunday’s final round of the PGA Championship on CBS.

The resurgent Woods ended up second, just two strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka. His closing six under par 64 built the audience throughout the afternoon and early evening before Koepka prevailed just a minute after 6 p.m.. After starting with 85,465 total viewers for the initial 1 to 1:15 p.m. segment, the PGA peaked at 284,884 viewers from 5 to 5:15 p.m. The overall average of 185,175 viewers more than doubled the crowd of 87,253 for last August’s PGA, which was won by Justin Thomas.

In 2017, the closing 18 holes of the PGA Championship averaged a puny 22,450 viewers in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old motherlode. With a Tiger in its tank, Sunday’s final round pulled in 62,412 viewers in this key audience demographic.

CBS’ prime-time scheduled was pushed back roughly a half-hour by the PGA Championship’s post-match coverage. And although the golfers weren’t swinging their clubs anymore, the 6 to 6:15 portion of that coverage drew Sunday’s biggest crowd in total viewers with 313,372. Some of those viewers may have been expecting 60 Minutes to start on time.

Saturday’s Round 3 of the PGA averaged more total viewers (135,320) than any other D-FW TV attraction in the day or night.

Friday’s prime-time pacesetters were CBS’ 9 p.m. repeat of Blue Bloods in total viewers (121,076) and CBS’ 7 p.m. attraction, TKO: Total Knockout, in the 18-to-49 realm (31,206 viewers).

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m., while NBC5 won among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 scored twin wins at 6 a.m., with CBS11 maintaining some momentum by again climbing to the No. 2 spot with 25-to-54-year-olds. We’ll see if the station can stay in play when the kids go back to school on Mon., Aug. 20th. The early morning news ratings generally inflate at that point, with extra thousands of parents tuning in at least briefly to check on the weather, etc.

At 6 p.m., CBS11 won in total viewers and NBC5 had the most 25-to-54-year-olds. The 5 p.m. golds went to the Peacock in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54-year-old measurement.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Aug. 9) -- first Cowboys preseason game lights up latenight numbers

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Dallas Cowboys’ opening preseason game, a 24-21 loss at San Francisco, rolled to the usual winning numbers in the D-FW Nielsens.

The CBS11 telecast, which fired up at 9:05 p.m. Thursday, averaged 413,082 total viewers and drew 162,271 within the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic. The ratings peaked from 9:15 to 9:30 p.m., when 584,012 total viewers tuned in. From 10 to 10:30 p.m., Cowboys-49ers had 477,181 total viewers, easily outdrawing the combined 334,739 viewers for local newscasts on Fox4, NBC5 and TEGNA8.

Thursday night’s usual big hitter, Big Brother, was sent from CBS to sister station TXA21 in the 8 p.m. hour to accommodate CBS11’s pre-game show. BB ended up with a Siberia-sized 113,954 total viewers and 49,930 in the 18-to-49 realm.

Last Thursday in its regular home on CBS11, BB pulled in 192,297 total viewers and 102,980 in the 18-to-49 age range. On Cowboys game night, the countdown show beat BB in both ratings measurements.

Fox4’s resilient 9 p.m. local newscast fared best opposite the Cowboys game with 170,930 total viewers and 40,568 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Here are Thursday’s four-way local news derby results.

TEGNA8 won the downsized 10 p.m. race in total viewers but Fox4 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 remained unbeatable at 6 a.m. with another sweep and NBC5 ran the table at 6 p.m.

The Peacock and Fox4 tied for the most total viewers at 5 p.m. while Fox4 won outright among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Aug. 8) -- Fox4's 9 p.m. news, CBS' Big Brother are top scorers

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast ranked as Wednesday’s overall top prime-time performer while CBS’ Big Brother as usual took the 18-to-49-year-old cake.

Drawing close to double the crowd for the competing final hour of ABC’s CMA Fest, the news roped in 199,419 total D-FW viewers. CBS’ 7 p.m. hour of Big Brother led all TV attractions among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49ers (81,136) while Fox4’s newscast came in second for the night with 56,171.

Prime-time’s biggest overall loser, NBC’s 9 p.m. episode of the new Reverie, dozed with just 42,733 total viewers.

Here are Wednesday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 led with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 extended its multi-month unbeaten streak with two more 6 a.m. wins, and also led at 5 and 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 drew the most total viewers at both 5 and 6 p.m.

Of note: CBS11 has been perking up a bit lately in the 6 a.m. race among 25-to-54-year-olds. On Wednesday, the station ran a solid second in this key demographic, with TEGNA8 third and a still slumping NBC5 placing last. CBS11 also took the 6 a.m. runner-up spot on Tuesday in the 25-to-54 measurement. It’s only the summer, and early morning viewing levels are lower than during the school year. But at least CBS11 is showing a pulse.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Tues., Aug. 6-7) -- summer's most dependable performer still running hot

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC again swooped in for the kill Tuesday night, with America’s Got Talent easily topping the prime-time charts.

Airing in its usual 7 to 9 p.m. slot, AGT drew 327,617 D-FW viewers in decimating ABC’s competing season premiere of Bachelor In Paradise (99,709 viewers). AGT also reigned among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds with 71,774 while B In P took the runner-up spot (46,809).

The only downside for AGT is its “skew old” percentage of 18 to 49ers. Less than 25 percent of its audience is in that realm.

Episode 2 of NBC’s artsy crafty Making It, from Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, had 113,954 total viewers at 9 p.m., placing second in that hour to Fox4’s local newscast (149,564 viewers). But Making It comfortably won from 9 to 10 p.m. among 18-to-49-year-olds with 40,568. Also airing at 9 p.m., the premiere of ABC’s Survivor ripoff, Castaways, ran fourth in total viewers in the Big Four broadcast network universe and moved up to a second-place tie with Fox4’s news among 18-to-49-year-olds.

In Monday’s prime-time festivities, ABC’s three-hour season finale of The Bachelorette won from start to stop in both total viewers (142,442) and with 18-to-49-year-olds (62,412).

And now for the local news derby results.

Monday -- Fox4 swept the 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. competitions in total viewers and among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

At 6 p.m., NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the top spot in total viewers while the Peacock had the 25-to-54 gold to itself.

The 5 p.m. firsts went to NBC5 in total viewers and TEGNA8 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Tuesday -- In a rarity, Fox4 and TEGNA8 tied for first place at 10 p.m. in both ratings measurements.

It almost goes without saying that Fox4 again had twin wins at 6 a.m. while the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of Good Day also continues to dominate the three network morning offerings.

NBC5 ran first in total viewers at 5 and 6 p.m.; Fox4 won both of the 25-to-54 competitions at those hours.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Ending of an era: TEGNA8 anchor John McCaa announces his retirement, effective in March 2019

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
While his colleague, sports anchor Dale Hansen, soldiers on, longtime TEGNA8 anchor John McCaa has decided to retire from the station in March of next year after declining a management offer to stay aboard.

McCaa made the announcement Monday, saying it’s “been a true privilege and an honor to be welcomed into your home for the broadcasts and programs I have anchored.”

McCaa, 64, joined TEGNA8 in 1984, originally as a reporter in the Dallas-based station’s Fort Worth bureau. He has been anchoring weekday newscasts since December 1991, when he teamed with the late Chip Moody on the ABC affiliate’s 5 p.m. editions. Since August 2002, McCaa has been part of the station’s 10 p.m. weeknight anchoring duo, first with the now retired Gloria Campos and now with Cynthia Izaguirre. A rotating tri-anchor system earlier was briefly in place.

“Am I ready? In some ways yes, in some ways no,” McCaa says in his retirement statement. “Management has graciously asked me to stay longer, and I have politely declined. It is not easy to step away from a business in which you have worked for two-thirds of your life and loved even longer. I have always accepted as true that God gave me the opportunities I have had in this field and no one could keep them from me. But that when God decided it was time for me to quit, there would be nothing I could do to successfully continue in this profession. Having sensed that it is that time, I am stepping away.”

There may be teaching in his future. In 2015, McCaa earned a Ph.D in humanities-history from the University of Texas at Dallas. He has long expressed an interest in putting it to use in the classroom.

TEGNA8 executive news director Carolyn Mungo, who does not talk to your friendly content provider, says in an accompanying statement that McCaa’s “impact on the newsroom and the community is beyond measure . . . What a great human being. We wish him all the best.”

President and general manager Brad Ramsey, who in January replaced Mike Devlin in that role, calls McCaa “the consummate journalist.”

Last week, TEGNA8’s Hansen accepted management’s offer of a new two-year contract that will take him through the year 2020 after he first joined the station in 1983. Hansen turned 70 on Aug. 2nd.

In a feature written in 2009 for D CEO magazine, I looked in depth at McCaa’s life story, which included a stint as an R-rated standup comic while in Omaha, Neb. and also anchoring for that city’s WOWT-TV. You can find that article here, and of course we’ll have a longer look at McCaa on unclebarky.com as his retirement date draws nearer.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

NBC5 drops Vice President of News Mark Ginther (updated)

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Mark Ginther, who joined Fort Worth-based NBC5 on September 14, 2015 as vice president of news, has been fired after an in-house investigation by the Human Resources department.

Word came Monday afternoon from numerous sources. Ginther had been hired from Seattle’s NBC affiliate, KING-TV, where he was news director from 2008 to 2015. Prior to that he had been assistant news director at Dallas-based WFAA-TV from 2006-’08.

NBC5 has not issued any official statement on Ginther’s termination. Brian Hocker, who reportedly is handling all inquiries, said via automated email that he’s “out of the office traveling on business” until Thursday of this week. Ginther could not be reached for comment Monday.

Later Monday, Hocker issued this statement: “Mark Ginther is no longer employed by NBC5/KXAS. We are grateful for his commitment and dedication to the NBC5 team. His last day with the station was Monday, August 6.”

A number of sources close to the situation say that Ginther’s firing had nothing to do with any allegations of sexual misconduct. Instead the station determined that his management style was no longer a good fit, according to sources.

NBC5 won its first ever national Peabody award during Ginther’s nearly three-year tenure. Veteran investigative reporter Scott Friedman and his off-camera team accepted the prestigious award in May for the series “Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Taxpayers Taken For a Ride.”

NBC5 also underwent numerous personnel changes during Ginther’s time at the station. And NBC5’s early morning ratings, particularly in the key 6 a.m. hour, have fallen into serious decline in the past year in the key news demographic of 25-to-54-year-olds.

It’s expected that assistant news director John Stone will step in as the interim newsroom boss while NBC5 searches for Ginther’s replacement.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Aug. 3-5) -- Big Brother still singing 18-to-49 high notes

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Most younger viewers find CBS to be something of an archaeological dig. But more than enough of them still know when and where Big Brother is.

Sunday’s 7 p.m. hour again gave CBS what otherwise remains a rare win among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds. BB pulled in 102,980 viewers in this key demographic, easily more than twice the number for the runner-up attraction, ABC’s competing Celebrity Family Feud (40,568).

CBS’ 60 Minutes drew the night’s biggest overall audience, with 213,663 compared to BB’s 185,175. But among 18-to-49ers, 60 Minutes had just 18,724 viewers. That’s less than one-fifth the audience for BB.

Friday’s prime-time pacesetter, NBC’s 9 p.m. edition of Dateline, had 85,465 total viewers and 18,724 within the 18-to-49-year-old realm.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 logged two more wins at 6 a.m. while NBC5 ran the table at 6 p.m. The Peacock also drew the most total viewers at 5 p.m.; Fox4 and CBS11 shared the top spot among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Thurs., July 30-Aug. 2) -- catching up, including Dale Hansen re-upping

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
After several days in Cleveland, your friendly content provider is back servicing unclebarky.com.

But before summarizing the latest available D-FW Nielsen ratings, here’s a Dale Hansen update which earlier was tweeted from afar on @unclebarkycom. The dean of local sports anchors, who just turned 70, has signed another two-year deal with TEGNA8 that will take him through 2020.

Hansen has been in this market since August 1980. He’s spent the last 35 years at TEGNA8 (previously Belo-owned WFAA-TV) after being fired by rival KDFW-TV (now branded as Fox4) in March 1983. The highly opinionated Hansen was almost immediately snapped up by his current employer. In the fall of 2017, he re-upped at TEGNA8 for just a single year through 2018 while also cutting his workload back to the Monday-Friday 10 p.m. newscasts, plus his longrunning Sunday night Sports Special.

“I hope to leave before they kick me out,” Hansen said after signing that earlier contract. But if anything, TEGNA8 just can’t get enough of him. So this time around, his new deal is for twice as long.

***

The NFL returned Thursday night with the annual Hall of Fame game on NBC. But in the 8 to 9 p.m. hour, the Chicago Bears-Baltimore Ravens face-off got narrowly outpointed by CBS’ Big Brother.

BB drew 192,297 total viewers while Bears-Ravens had 185,175 in their hour opposite one another. Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, BB won by a score of 102,980 viewers to the NFL’s 93,618. Bears-Ravens otherwise outdrew all other competing TV attractions.

On Wednesday night, Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast racked up the most total viewers with 220,785, knocking Big Brother into second place for the night with 170,930. But BB crunched the competition in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic with a prime-time high of 93,618. Fox4’s news pulled in second with 49,930.

The Tuesday night ratings spoils again went overwhelmingly to NBC’s America’s Got Talent, which reeled in 341,861 total viewers and 71,774 in the 18-to-49 realm.

Monday’s prime-time leaders were Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast in total viewers (199,419) and ABC’s The Bachelorette in the 18-to-49 age range (78,015).

Here are the Monday-Thursday local news derby results.

Monday -- NBC5 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 as usual had twin wins at 6 a.m. and also drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 and 6 p.m. NBC5 had the most total viewers for both early evening newscasts.

Tuesday -- Fox4 ran the able at both 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. while NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. wins went to the Peacock in total viewers and TEGNA8 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Wednesday -- Fox4 finished no worse than first in all four time slots, but twice had company. The station again had clean sweeps at 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and also won outright among 25-to-54-year-olds at 5 and 6 p.m. In the total viewer results, Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11 tied for No. 1 at 6 p.m. while Fox4 shared the 5 p.m. lead with the Peacock.

Thursday -- The 10 p.m. wins went to Fox4 in total viewers and NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 continued its long winning streak at 6 a.m. with two more lopsided wins. But NBC5 basked at 5 and 6 p.m., where it ran first in both ratings measurements.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net