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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Jan. 14) -- a portal for The Passage; Brandon Todd gets permanent slot on Fox4's early hours of Good Day

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The heavily promoted premiere of Fox’s The Passage opened big Monday, ranking as the night’s No. 1 attraction in D-FW among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds while running second in total viewers to NBC’s America’s Got Talent: The Champions.

The sci-fi series’ 81,518 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range tripled the lead-in from Fox’s 7 p.m. The Resident (27,173 viewers) while also holding off formidable competition from the second hours of AGT: The Champions (69,442) and ABC’s The Bachelor (51,326). CBS’ 8 p.m. offering, the Magnum, P.I. reboot, ran a distant last among the Big Four broadcast networks with just 18,115 viewers in this key demographic.

The full two hours of AGT: The Champions drew the most total viewers (274,143), with The Passage finishing second from 8 to 9 p.m. with 203,850. CBS’ Bull comfortably won the 9 p.m. hour in total viewers (253,055), with Fox4’s competing local newscast running No. 1 among 18-to-49ers (57,365).

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

CBS11 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers for the third straight weekday while Fox4 again topped the 25-to-54-year-old Nielsens (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions, again by wide margins. At 6 p.m., CBS11 drew the most total viewers and Fox4 had the edge with 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 ran first in total viewers at 5 p.m. and shared the 25-to-54 lead with Fox4.

LOCAL TV NEWS NOTE: As tweeted early this morning on @unclebarkycom, Fox4 has named veteran reporter Brandon Todd to be the permanent co-anchor of the station’s 4 to 6 a.m. portions of weekday Good Day. He joins incumbent Hanna Battah after earlier filling in on- and off-. Todd will stick around to report from 6 to 10 a.m., when anchors Tim Ryan and Lauren Przybyl take over.

Todd joined Fox4 in November of 1998 from WFTX-TV in Fort Myers, FL. He’s a Bachelor of Arts graduate of Ball State University.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs.-Sun., Jan. 10-13) -- Cowboys closer falls short of two million mark

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Dallas Cowboys again fell short of the NFC’s championship game with Saturday night’s 30-22 road loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Fox.

Although the game of course dominated everything else in sight, it came up shy of the two million mark with an average of 1,827,618 D-FW viewers. Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, Cowboys-Rams weighed in at 748,762 viewers.

Two years ago, which marked the last time Dallas made the postseason, a crushing 34-31 loss to the visiting Green Bay Packers drew 2,254,041 total viewers and 891,576 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Earlier Saturday, NBC’s Kansas City Chiefs-Indianapolis Colts matchup had 955,985 total viewers, with 350,227 in the 18-to-49 realm.

Sunday’s pair of NFL playoff attractions was led by Fox’s New Orleans Saints-Philadelphia Eagles game, which pulled in 1,019,249 total viewers and 344,189 in the 18-to-49 demographic. CBS’ afternoon attraction, in which the New England Patriots demolished the Los Angeles Chargers, averaged 646,696 total viewers and 217,382 in the 18-to-49 age range to easily rank as the least-watched of this quartet.

Friday’s prime-time Nielsens again were paced by CBS’ Blue Bloods in total viewers (302,260) while Fox’s Last Man Standing logged the most 18-to-49ers (60,384).

On Thursday night, CBS’ 7 p.m. episode of The Big Bang Theory ranked No. 1 in both total viewers (358,494) and with 18-to-49-year-olds (81,518). Although it fell off considerably, CBS’ 8:30 p.m. premiere of the sitcom Fam won its half-hour time slot with 161,674 total viewers and 48,307 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Finally, here are the local news derby results for Thursday and Friday.

Thursday -- CBS11 drew the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also swept both the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions and added a 5 p.m. win among 25-to-54-year-olds. TEGNA8 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m. in a tight four-way battle.

Friday -- CBS11 again ranked first in total viewers at 10 p.m., with Fox4 repeating its win with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 as usual/always ran the table at 6 a.m. while NBC5 enjoyed the early evening with sweeps at both 5 and 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues.-Wed., Jan. 8-9) -- who was that Masked Singer?

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fox’s The Masked Singer may be TV’s latest equivalent of a full-blown traffic wreck, but you know the deal on those. People like to watch.

Episode 2 again commanded its 8 p.m. slot, winning in total D-FW viewers (217,908) and also among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds (87,557). The 18-to-49 haul ranked as Wednesday’s biggest, but Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast led all programming in total viewers with 238,996.

For the record, the second unmasked performer was a considerable mark down from the first. It was Tommy Chong after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ star receiver and latest malcontent, Antonio Brown, gave the show a surprise A-lister for the premiere episode.

ABC’s 7:30 p.m. premiere of Schooled, a spinoff of the preceding The Goldbergs, ran fourth during that half-hour slot in total viewers (84,352) while tying for third with CBS’ Young Sheldon repeat among 18-to-49ers with 27,173. Even so, it still ranked second in both measurements, behind only Modern Family, among all of struggling ABC’s prime-time attractions.

On Tuesday night, CBS’ 7 p.m. episode of NCIS ranked No. 1 in total viewers with 414,729. NBC’s competing Ellen’s Game of Games topped the 18-to-49-year-old heap with 66,422 viewers.

Fueled by the NCIS lead-in, President Trump’s border wall pitch, which fit within the 8 to 8:15 p.m. slot, easily drew its biggest audience on CBS with 337,406 total viewers. Fox News Channel led the three cable news nets with 196,820 viewers.

The Nancy Pelosi-Chuck Schumer response, which ended just before 8:20 p.m. is hard to gauge because ABC and the Fox broadcasting arm then cut immediately to entertainment programming for the rest of the 15-minute segment. CBS, the only broadcast network to devote the full half-hour to news coverage, ranked No. 1 among all entities with 295,231 total viewers.

Here are the local news derby results.

Tuesday -- Network entertainment programming runovers on ABC and Fox made it a two-way race at 10 p.m. CBS11 won in total viewers and Fox4 was No. 1 among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 had twin wins at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. firsts went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Wednesday -- Fox4 fell just short of a very rare double grand slam, winning everything except the 6 p.m. race in the total viewers measurement. That one went to NBC5.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Jan. 7) -- numbers hold up for lopsided college football championship game

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The latest college football championship game ended up being nowhere near as competitive as last year’s overtime thriller. But maybe a good number of viewers enjoyed seeing perennial top dog Alabama getting spanked hard in a result that no one saw coming.

Clemson’s 44-16 rout of the Crimson Tide, which ran until 10:44 p.m. on ESPN, averaged 667,784 total D-FW viewers and 295,882 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

The number of total viewers Monday night fell a bit from the 2018 haul of 712,210 for Bama’s comeback 26-23 overtime win over Georgia. But this was offset by the smaller crowd of 18-to-49ers (283,957) for that game.

Clemson’s pulsating 2017 win over Alabama -- 35-31 in the final second of play -- drew fewer eyeballs in both key ratings measurements. It averaged 647,128 total viewers and 259,775 within the 18-to-49 realm.

Elsewhere Monday night, NBC’s two-hour launch of America’s Got Talent: The Champions ranked as the runner-up attraction in total viewers with 246,026. But ABC’s three-hour season premiere of The Bachelor took the silver with 18-to-49-year-olds, edging AGT by a score of 66,422 to 63,403.

Here are Monday’s local news derby results.

CBS11 ran first at 10 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also swept the 6 a.m. races and added 5 and 6 p.m. wins among 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m. and TEGNA8 won in that measurement at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Reporter Todd Unger vacating TEGNA8

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
In search of new challenges, reporter Todd Unger of TEGNA8 has decided to leave the Dallas-based station after six years of very capably pounding the pavement.

He made the announcement Monday on his Facebook page.

“This isn’t easy to write but my time at WFAA (identified with its corporate owner in these spaces) is coming to an end,” Unger writes. “It’s my choice and although very difficult, the right one for where I am right now.”

Unger effusively praised his colleagues, ranging from producers to photographers to bosses who “always encourage us to be ourselves so we can find and tell stories in a unique way. That can be rare in this business. Most of all, everybody from top to bottom at Channel 8 are just good people. Finding that across the board can be even rarer.”

He arrived at TEGNA8 in January 2013 from Albuquerque’s KOAT-TV after an earlier stint at KPTM-TV in Omaha, Nebraska. TEGNA8 anchor Cynthia Izaguirre and reporter Lauren Zakalik likewise joined TEGNA8 from KOAT.

Unger said he plans to stay in broadcast journalism, but “during the next couple of months I’m going to do a little traveling near and far while exploring some new career opportunities.”

“To those of you that have let me share a story or two, I hope it didn’t disappoint,” he wrote. “To the viewers, simply ‘Thank you.’ “

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Jan. 4-6) -- Cowboys catchup

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
It’s been a long holiday season sojourn, and we’re not going to recap all the ratings highlights from the past several weeks.

But we will keep all of the Dallas Cowboys’ numbers in play, including that big Jan. 5th playoff win over Seattle and the numbers for the closing regular season games against Tampa Bay and the New York Giants. All three games were on Fox, which also will have the Saturday night, Jan. 12th matchup between Dallas and the Los Angeles Rams. Locally, the sales department staffers at Fox4 are turning cartwheels.

Not surprisingly, Saturday night’s 24-22 win over the Seahawks drew the biggest overall crowd of the season. Running from 7:15 to 10:26 p.m., Cowboys-Seahawks averaged 1,743,266 total D-FW viewers and 621,955 within the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range.

The Cowboys weren’t in the playoffs last season. Two years ago, they had a first-round bye before a Jan. 15th matchup against the visiting Green Bay Packers. The Pack won 34-31 at the buzzer on a 51-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. That game drew 2,254,041 total viewers and 891,576 within the 18-to-49-year-old realm. Will this Saturday’s Cowboys-Rams game approach those numbers? It at least should hit the 2 million mark, barring a blowout. But the ratings for Cowboys-Packers will be tough to beat.

Back on Dec. 23rd, the Cowboys’ noon-starting NFC East division championship clincher against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drew a comparatively lowly 977,073 total viewers, with just 295,882 in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

On Dec. 30th, the Cowboys’ “meaningless” but exciting 36-35 win against the hosting New York Giants perked up to 1,040,336 total viewers, with 347,208 of the 18-to-49 persuasion.

Let’s get back to the near past. Sunday’s crazy-ending Wild Card game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears easily ranked as the day’s top attraction with 1,005,190 total viewers for NBC’s mid-afternoon/early evening telecast. CBS’ earlier Los Angeles Chargers-Baltimore Ravens playoff matchup pulled in 611,549 viewers on CBS.

NBC’s Golden Globes presentation, which ran long and well past 10 p.m. then dominated the 7 to 10 p.m. prime-time Nielsens with 435,817 total viewers and 150,960 in the 18-to-49er demographic.

Finally, here are the Friday, Jan. 4th local news derby results.

CBS11 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 likewise swept the 6 a.m. competitions. At 6 p.m., CBS11 had the most total viewers and NBC5 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds.

The 5 p.m. golds went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and the Peacock among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Weekday morning anchor Marc Fein is exiting NBC5

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Veteran anchor Marc Fein, who joined Fort Worth-based NBC5 in 2011 and has been co-anchoring the station’s weekday early morning newscasts, will be leaving the station shortly.

Fein confirmed through sources that his contract is not being renewed. He arrived at NBC5 from Turner Sports and initially co-anchored the 5 and 6 p.m. weekday newscasts before being moved to mornings in January 2014 alongside longtime incumbent Deborah Ferguson. Fein replaced Mark Hayes, who was let go after less than two years opposite Ferguson.

NBC5 management, which announces arrivals to the station, had nothing to say on Fein’s status Wednesday. Vice president of programming Brian Hocker said via email that “we’re not going to comment on personnel or contract issues per usual.”

Asked if he could even confirm that Fein will be leaving NBC5, Hocker said, “We do not have a comment.”

Fein, 51, had a gainful career in sports broadcasting before joining NBC5. He has hosted the NBA network’s NBA Gametime Live, NASCAR on TNT and TBS’ presentations of college football and baseball games. Before arriving at Turner Sports, Fein was a sports anchor-reporter for D-FW’s Fox4 and also hosted pre-game shows for the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars. He’s a 1991 graduate of the University of Miami, with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

NBC5 lately has had serious ratings problems in the early mornings, particular during the most-watched 6 a.m. hour. In the November “sweeps,” the station ran third in total viewers and last among 25-to-54-year-olds (the main advertiser target audience for news programming). The year-to-year shortfalls respectively were 20,703 and 25,065 viewers, easily the largest in competition with Fox4, TEGNA8 and CBS11.

Fein was at his regular 6 a.m. post on Wednesday, Jan. 2nd. His departure date could not immediately be determined.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Kezhal Dashti joins Daybreak's social media whirl

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Dallas-based TEGNA8 has filled Daybreak’s social media anchor vacancy by hiring Kezhal Dashti from El Paso’s Fox station, KFOX-TV.

She started work in December and replaces Janelle Brandom, who left the early morning program in March of last year to pursue other interests.

During her formative years, the TCU journalism graduate interned at Fort Worth-based NBC5 and with KISS-FM’s Kidd Kraddick in the Morning. She also spent three months at The Dallas Morning News before joining KFOX in March 2015.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net