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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., July 1) -- Snyder's last newscast wins in total viewers, bombs with 25-to-54-year-olds

Anchor Mike Snyder's exit from NBC5, after 30 years in the saddle, gave the station's Thursday, 6 p.m. newscast a bit of a boost in the overall ratings.

But a first place finish, with 149,299 total D-FW viewers, was offset in the bean counters' minds by a drop to fourth place among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. WFAA8 led in that audience demographic Thursday, followed very closely by CBS11.

Snyder's farewell likewise lagged in fourth with 18-to-49-year-olds. Among viewers 55 years and older, though, NBC5 trounced the rival 6 p.m. newscasts on Fox4, WFAA8 and CBS11.

Brief sermon: Managers at all four stations have little if any use for viewers of a "certain age." But older viewers are the ones who would be most interested in Snyder's sign-off, because they have a reference bank regarding his long tenure at NBC5. End result: Older anchors with big salaries and lousy "demographics" are all nearing their expiration dates in times when money is tight and ratings are down across the board. Experience and ability don't cut it if your core audience increasingly is made up of viewers in rocking chairs with old-school names such as Gertrude, Amos and Ed. I'm not saying that's right. But that's the way it is.

Meanwhile in prime-time, the second episode of ABC's Rookie Blue dipped from last Thursday's strong showing to run third at 8 p.m. in total viewers and mostly fourth among 18-to-49-year-olds, the key target for entertainment programming. Blue beat only NBC's 8:30 p.m. repeat of 30 Rock in the 18-to-49 demo.

ABC's second hour of Boston Med likewise struggled at 9 p.m., but the network's Wipeout ran first in the 7 p.m. hour with 18-to-49-year-olds.

On Fox Sports Southwest, the first-place Texas Rangers drew a very respectable 162,871 total viewers for their closing 2-1 road loss to the Angels. Third baseman Michael Young remains my favorite Rangers player. But man, a couple of bonehead plays in Games 1 and 3 might have cost Texas a sweep.

In Game 1, Young grounded out weakly with the bases loaded late in the game after foolishly swinging at a 2-0 pitch from a seemingly wild reliever. In a one-run game, you have to take that pitch. Had he been more patient, he very well might have walked, forcing in the tying run. "Situational" hitting is key here. Instead the inning ended and Texas ended up losing by a run.

In Game 3, again with the bases loaded late in the game, Young stood his ground at third base when a pitch sailed over the catcher's head. It more or less bounced back to him. But the pitcher was late in covering the plate. And it's always very difficult for an off-balance pitcher to tag a runner out under those circumstances. Making matters worse, the likewise off-balance catcher threw the ball past the pitcher while Young remained frozen in place. Then a popout ended the inning and Texas went down meekly in the ninth. You've gotta break for the plate under those circumstances.

But we tarry.

Thursday's other local news derby results went like this. Fox4 returned to the 6 a.m. winner's circle with a first place finish in total viewers while tying the generally dominant NBC5 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 ran the table at 5 p.m.