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"Morning people come in as many flavors as sunrises do"

D-FW’s Gannett8 has been on a roller coast ride of late with its early morning Daybreak program.

The upside: Daybreak so far is putting up a strong fight for second place during the ongoing February “sweeps” ratings period, which began on Thursday, Jan. 29th and ends on Wednesday, Feb. 25th. NBC5 is the other combatant while defending champ Fox4 remains on top in total viewers.

The potential pothole: Daybreak also is trying to avoid the considerable embarrassment of falling to fourth place among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. Its surprise rival in this battle is CBS11, which has been a slumbering Rip Van Winkle in the early morning ratings for as long as anyone can remember. But as of this writing, CBS11 and newly transplanted co-anchor Karen Borta are making a race of it.

Gannett8’s latest promotional campaign for Daybreak positions it as the “Official Show of Morning People,” with the hashtag #IAMUP. Before that tagline hits the screen, a gentle but firm male voiceover goes the full Rod McKuen route, beginning with “Morning people come in as many flavors as sunrises do.” McKuen was known for being more than a little sappy, but sold tons of album in his day.

A collection of mostly smiley, happy morning peeps are shown before the Daybreak anchor team of Ron Corning and Alexa Conomos comes briefly into view. There’s also a fleeting glimpse of meteorologist Greg Fields. But Daybreak’s traffic anchor, uniformed “Corporal Nick” Bristow, does not make the cut.

The spot is somewhat generic, with no Texas flavor whatsoever. But it’s also nicely produced and goes down easy. Whether the new campaign is dynamic enough to make any difference is an open question in times when CBS11 is selling Borta as a homey Texas gal with firmly planted roots. Sort of a Dale Evans without the buckskin fringe.

Here’s the Daybreak “Morning People” promo.

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