Monday, October 23, 2006

CBS blames affiliates for crappy ratings

When former NBC news diva Katie Couric took the helm of the CBS Evening News, ratings went up, pushing the Tiffany network to the top. Then, the novelty of Couric wore off, and soon, the CBS Evening News was back in third place.

So, who's to blame? If you ask CBS News boss Sean McManus, it's the "low-rated local newscasts leading into Evening News." You know, newscasts like WYOU's, which have forever been at the bottom of the barrel, despite several efforts to reinvent itself.

In related news, Beale's Bites has learned that WYOU is actually adding more news to its lineup. Tipsters report WYOU will add a 5:30 p.m. weekday newscast starting on October 30. Another half hour of Dialing for News? Stay tuned...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new 5:30 is scheduled to start next month...per an on-air talent at 22....

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny, growing up in the Wilkes/Scranton market, with WNEP being so dominant and WYOU being at the bottom of the food chain, it became normal for me to think that ABC is on top everywhere, but it's not. Up north (Binghamton, NY), the CBS affiliate WBNG has been in the lead for years. Going to school (broadcast journalism) in the Pittsburgh market, KDKA (CBS) is also the leader. It's kind of funny; growing up with such a dominant news station for years and years, and then moving to a market like Pittsburgh where there is healthy competition daily, it's like a breath of fresh air. PS - I do hope to return to NEPA as a reporter.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I like Couric, and I do, this tumble from that brief spike was predicted by just about everyone, from gossip-columnists/bloggers, to media consultants, to Joe SixPack and his wife up the block. I watched a time or two, curiousity being what it is, and didn't much care one way or the other. Was/is she good? Yeah, I'd say so. Enough that you'd make CBS your lock for evening network news? No, I honestly don't think so.

When McManus mentioned low-rated locals, don't you just feel him thinking about WYOU? It kind of fits like a finely-tailored suit. Now, let's do another half hour of news, let's make it 90 minutes of nothing. And they're doing this what? How many staffers? Are we talking maybe a half-dozen here?

And how 'bout that I-Team? Predictably, they're slapping an I-Team ident on stories that are no such thing. And weather from everywhere is all you hear about on the street, right? New lows are being plumbed daily in this market, history is being made.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the CBS news boss is making a real slam... go ahead and blame your problems on others... like passing the buck. As poster 11:18 indicated, what about the markets where CBS is the perennial leader?

In the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market, there is competition, but it's hard to visualize because this DMA relies on antiquated ratings measurements.

Compare the system to Philly's, where it picked up the electronic monitoring a few years back... WPVI was the leader for 30 years (had a following similar to WNEP). But since the new measurements took effect, the ratings war is a lot tighter, with WCAU wining an 11pm slot here and there. KYW has also narrowed the gap, coming in 2nd sporadically.

Of course, getting that "technology" in Scranton is a long shot for reasons already elaborated on this site... but back to the CBS news boss, it doesn't seem he'll ever have a clear picture of what some of his CBS affils are actually bringing to the table.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About time your tipsters caught up...WYOU's promos have been on the air for at least a week. Great job.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight, McManus. You figure that since Schieffer left and Couris took over, CBS affiliates just decided to go into the tank? Who changed the most in the last six months--network or local? Who lost the most?

Hello! McFly!

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couric is show business, bought and paid for. Where's the journalism? And those lousy soft pieces by Steve Hartman are getting old fast. A change of hairstyle and facial makeup can't change her background and reputation as a soft-peddler born not into journalism but show biz.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market, there is competition...

Well, yes and no; yes because some folks at 50 bust their backsides "thinking" it'll make a difference, but no if you look at ratings. More specifically, if you look at trends.

The trend at 22 and 28 for the last five years has been toilet-bound, and there is just no arguing that. 22 has had weak numbers going back at least 15 years, 28's problems began with the arrival of Nexstar.

Would metering portray a different picture? There was a time when I believe it might have, this is not that time. Metering costs big bucks, those bucks come from the station's involved, and we all know that's where the possibility of us ever being metered ends completely. 16 doesn't need it, 50 would never pay for it. Metering is all about money, that's it, it has nothing to do with any lack of technology, etc., it's all about who'll pay for it and who won't.

I still say 16 would continue to be the big dog, the really big dog.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When John Dittmeier was running WYOU (into the ground) he was quoted as saying meters weren't needed by WYOU/WBRE because the money could be used elsewhere.

Perry is cheap and won't spend the money.


11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:24am :

Just talk to the people who just got laid-off from WNEP and see how they feel about stations being "cheap".

Tight budgets are all over the country right now. You're kidding yourself if you think 16 is immune.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meters? METERS? Hell, WBRE/WYOU canceled the Nielsen rating service altogether just to save a few bucks. Not likely Perry would ante up $$$ now--even to prove what we all know to be true, that a diary records what people THOUGHT they watched--that a meter records what people DID watch--and that people DON'T watch WNEP as much as they think they do.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and that people DON'T watch WNEP as much as they think they do.

Actually, people DON'T watch local news as much as we think they do.

We've become irrelevant, unimportant, no longer part of the daily routine.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal favorite when looking through the diaries were the people that thought they were watching the Price is Right on WNEP. Half of the diaries couldn't be counted because they had incorrect information.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight...

22 is going to add another half-hour "talk show" (interactive news" just doesn't fly with me.") More boring topics.
Does this mean more money for the folks who work on the show? HAHAHAHAH!!!!!
NOPE! it doesn't. So you suckers are going to work your butts off to produce another half-hour for Perry S. to make money off of. GET IT? It's about the $$$ at Nexstar folks...not the product or the people.

And as far as meters, why should WNEP be the one to step up and pay for that? It wouldn't benefit them at all. If Nexstar has sooo much to prove..than it should be the one to put up or shut up!! Sook and his slaves are the only ones who truly believe meters would tell a whole different ratings story in WB/SCR. True meters might show that less people watch WNEP than actually thought...but they still would be Top Dog.. BOTTOM LINE: people watch them... NOT BRE OR WYOU!!!

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, people DON'T watch local news as much as we think they do.

We've become irrelevant, unimportant, no longer part of the daily routine."

8:36 PM

Point well taken, point well made. That's been the dilemma for broadcasters for the last 20 years: how to prove to viewers that our newscasts directly connect to their lives, how to coax them away from cable, DVDs and their Xboxes.

Oh, well, it could be worse. We could be working for newspapers, praying to the gods of newsprint that our readers will buy our rag to play Slingo, or Wingo, or Soduku, for the recipes and/or the horoscopes. Talk about irrelevant!

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point well taken, point well made. That's been the dilemma for broadcasters for the last 20 years: how to prove to viewers that our newscasts directly connect to their lives, how to coax them away from cable, DVDs and their Xboxes.

Personally, and sad to say, I don't think it's possible, it's too late. It's like putting the toothpaste back in the tube, we're not going to do it. Most "experts" continue to predict that the future of local news(if it has any)is in mornings, not evenings.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's still a large number of people who want their local news from tv. So many don't have time for newspapers or find the news too late (once daily). News can be listened to while doing other tasks around the house. That's also the reason people listen to multiple newscasts, to see what they missed while doing chores. Don't count the local news out yet. A lot of people still need to be informed.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Each generation has more choices, increasing exponentially, on how to spend their time, how to amuse themselves, and where to get their information. There are lots of viewers now but as each new wave of viewers come of age they are also more educated and frankly, they're going to stop falling for the whistles and bells. And it's whistles and bells we've come to rely on. They're getting harder to fool and we're going to be out of tricks that are affordable in twenty years. Kiss local news goodbye except for mornings when it will be headlines and weather.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't count the local news out yet. A lot of people still need to be informed.

Absolutely, a lot of people are info-starved, no doubt about it. But what makes you think local teevee is doing the job? Did you see WNEP's eleven Halloween Night? The first block was news-less, it was full of soft crap that is totally useless. I just went to WBRE's site hoping to see they might've led with last night on their late show - are you kidding me? Stories and video that's ten days old? Newmakers is listed as a "news" item. Endless BS stories from LUZERNE COUNTY. And WYOU? Hell, no sense even bothering.

Barring a breaking catastrophic event, there really is little need to watch local news.

9:27 AM  

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