Friday, February 16, 2007

Who won?

This has certainly been an interesting week for our three local news stations. The first major winter storm of the season came thundering in, and by the time it was over, it was traffic mayhem all over the place. From stranded drivers to piled-high snow, each station went all out.

It's hard to say which station owned the snow coverage, as each had its high points and low points:

WNEP had reporters and photographers stationed all over the place, and Skycam was flying high over the closed interstates. Clearly, a good effort that reached all corners of the market. But at times, WNEP forgot something important: this storm isn't about what some talking-head official thinks, it's all about the everyday people who are getting screwed by the storm.

WBRE and WYOU really surprised me. Both stations seemed to be in the right place, at the right time, when all hell broke loose on the interstates, to the point that they ended up catching the market's longtime leader off guard. But when you see the station's meteorologist and anchor making snow angels on the station roof, it really cuts at the credibility behind the coverage.

Overall, all three stations did a good job this week. I just hope that, when the next major storm rolls in, everyone will leave the snow angels and "French Toast" stories in the newsroom wastebasket, where it belongs.

Now it's your turn to stand on the soapbox. Hit the comment button, or shoot me an e-mail about your thoughts on the snow storm coverage.

40 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WNEP did a horrible job in the weather department. They did a very good job keeping their web site up-to-date. News could have been better, I’ve seen better from them.

WYOU did the best in the area with the weather department. Scott gets the award for being the best meteorologist during this storm keeping a calm and cool composure. The interactive segments were better than 16’s news, except for Thursday at 6 when WBRE joined in on the interactive. That was the black eye to WYOU/WBRE during this whole storm. Andy Mehalshick did the worst job of them all. He seemed rude to the callers, and kept interrupting them. To Andy: This isn’t your I-Team, you shouldn’t be rude, uncaring and cutting your viewers off when they are sounding off on the issue.

WBRE did a modest job in the weather department. I did NOT enjoy seeing their meteorologist doing snow angles on the roof with Kerry (I’m surprise the roof didn’t collapse due to the poor condition of it.) WBRE News was worst than WNEP News, but not by much.

WBRE/WYOU web site-not impressed.

The Awards Go To:

Worst Reporting Job during the Snowstorm Award: (tie) Andy Mehalshick and Ryan Leckey

Worst Meteorologist during the Snowstorm Award: Joe Snedeker

Best Reporting Job during the Snowstorm Award: Candice and Eric from WYOU Interactive

Best Meteorologist during the Snowstorm Award: Scott Stuccio

Worst Website during the Storm: WYOU/WBRE

Best Website during the Storm: WNEP

That’s just my opinion. Take it or leave it!

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know what the coverage did to the WBRE/WYOU overtime budget?

Come to think of it, does Nexstar HAVE an overtime budget?

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe WE won't know who won, but SOMEONE will, and not too long from now.

We're in a rating period. Sometime next month the day-by-day, quarter-hour-by-quarter-hour breakdown will be there for anyone to see.

Oops: not anyone. WBRE and WYOU don't subscribe (although the sales staff gets a detailed look from clients).

Maybe someone out there with balls and a book will fill us in come late March. Should make for interesting reading, even for laymen.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I just wasn't at the magic moment, but I didn't see any of the stunt reporting that usually goes along with big weather events. Like the suit standing in the breeze while wearing a logo-emblazoned custom-fitted windbreaker.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Nexstar got rid of the overtime budget a while back.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to sound, however this is going to sound but what is with Ryan Leckey and the ear muffs. I know many women who wear them to protect their hair styles,but come on, Ryan, wear a hat you look silly..

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm attending college in the Pittsburgh region, but grew up in NEPA and always check in/comment on this blog. Even though WBRE/WYOU's PAhomepage.com includes some video, I'm unable to rate who did what the best/worst. I can tell you that Scranton NEPA was mentioned quite often this week here in Pittsburgh. WPXI(nbc) had several live reports in Scranton, I believe from an NBC/MSNBC reporter. Several people from Pittsburgh who were caught in the major traffic disasters in the Leigh Valley called WPXI(nbc) and KDKA(cbs), both of which did live phoner reports from people stranded in traffic. KDKA even sent out Chopper 2 over I-78 & I-81. As far as a previous comment about Ryan Leckey and earmuffs, this is for you. A majority of reporters in Pittsburgh during the storm, male and female, used the clip-on ear muffs for live reports over hats due to the rediculous wind chill temps as well as the gusty wind and snow, keeping their IFBs where they belong, instead of flying out of their ear and flailing in the wind in the middle of a live hit, which I did witness on TV here in Pittsburgh. Of course, I was unable to see rooftop snow angles on PAmorning, but the big thing in Pittsburgh during the storm were live hits in the truck while driving, something I have yet to see in NEPA. Keep up the good work.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here’s another reason this should be the most fascinating rating book in years: the HUT (Homes Using Television) levels.

First, a primer for the outsiders who read this blog. A rating point is a percentage of all households that own a TV watching a particular program. A share is the percentage of all TVs actually turned on watching a program.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s WNEP—with the most-watched newscasts in the country—was pulling ratings in the low thirties and shares in the low fifties. Think about it: in those days at 6:00 p.m. one-third of all the TVs in 20+ counties were on, and watching “Newswatch 16.”

Since that time cable has expanded, satellite has come on board, the internet has siphoned off viewers—HUT levels have dropped, ratings have plummeted—and with them ad revenue, income, and station budgets.

But Wednesday and Thursday the storm had everyone held hostage—EVERYONE (with any sense) was home. More than that, it was an emergency—a time when tradition would say EVERYONE would tune to local TV news.

So. Did they? Were the HUT levels back up during the disaster, or has television news slipped from its must-watch days thirty years ago to just another take-it-or-leave it item on the infotainment menu? The Feb. book will provide this market with its first definitive answer in years.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're in a rating period. Sometime next month the day-by-day, quarter-hour-by-quarter-hour breakdown will be there for anyone to see.

We've still yet to hear word one on the November book, not a peep other than anecdotal remarks that it was horrid for both WBRE and WYOU. I'd damned near pay money to see their numbers from November and February.

As to who won weather-wise, I'd say no winners; this was a major storm, no one got it wrong.

An important thing to keep in mind is that this storm stopped being a weather story by early to mid morning on Wednesday, when it became(or should have)solely a news story.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:33 AM...speaking of ratings...why have we not heard what the stations did in November...Anyone got the numbers???

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did't most of the Cable 13 staff get canned from WYLN?

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:28....stay in school. The words are RIDICULOUS and ANGELS.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who won? Anyone who watched any channel and was wise enough to stay home and safe. All local stations did their best under bad circumstances. At times like this, we should pull together in team efforts for public safety instead of the usual one-upmanship. As far as I'm concerned, they ALL won as long as they did their best with what they had. Good job, all.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Feb. book will provide this market with its first definitive answer in years.

Please, someone out there, anyone out there, post some numbers, we need to see numbers here.

Now, on a related topic, how about our "public" TV station that brings absolutely nothing to the table during a weather crisis?

12:04 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

12:04 Now, on a related topic, how about our "public" TV station that brings absolutely nothing to the table during a weather crisis?

How about it? We have three fully-equipped stations that supposedly fall over each other to bring complete coverage, mets on the road, mets in the hinterlands, mets on the roof and backyard, AccuWeather, DartBoardWeather. Do we need another, understaffed, station telling us the same thing, interviewing the same people?

How about Fox 56? Their news and weather staff ... oops, sorry. They don't have one.

Then there's channel 7 on your VHF band.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A candid look at the ratings is available on WNEP.com . I've also pasted them below, but if you'd like to see for yourself, go to "advertise" and in that section you'll find a breakdown of who was watching what.

From what I can tell, WYOU saw some growth. Was it curiosity or a bucking of the trend, who knows.

WNEP held strong in the mornings, noon and evenings.

Here's where it gets interesting. WBRE saw some major gains at 11pm, so much so that rumors indicate some noteworthy playbook changes on WNEP at 11.

28's numbers are the highest they've been in more than a decade. What's the reason? What do you guys think? I don't think its NBC's stellar primetime lineup. I'd be interested to hear why people are all of the sudden tuning in.

---source, Nielsen 2006, Nov.

M-F Adults 18+

WNEP is the top
WBRE is middle
WYOU is bottom


5AM
40,000
5,000
2,000

530AM
48,000
9,000
1,000

6AM
90,000
17,000
2,000

630AM
106,000
20,000
3,000

12NOON
76,000
17,000
20,000

5PM
101,000
29,000
14,000

530PM
105,000
35,000
12,000

6PM
150,000
50,000
15,000

7PM
69,000
n/a
n/a

11PM
67,000
45,000
11,000

Sat6-8A
50,000
9,000
0

Sun6-8A
52,000
3,000
0

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now, on a related topic, how about our "public" TV station that brings absolutely nothing to the table during a weather crisis?"

12:04 PM


Good question, but didn't Lake Wallenpaupack HS get extra credit for answering it as a toss-up on "Scholastic Scrimmage?"

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WNEP.com has some numbers in their sales area.

http://www.wnep.com/Global/story.asp?S=2293326&nav=menu158_15

WBRE has really closed the gap at 11pm - the closest they've been in a long, long time.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Greg said...

I believe that the "Febuary Fallout" program that wbre and wyou put together was great, now since Andy Mehalshick wasn't familiar with the whole interactive thing, he did ok. I think that Lyndall and Andy should trade Eric and Candice for week, that way if they do another program where they come together and do each other's job, they know how to handle it.

WNEP stunk when it came to closings of schools, meetings, and other community things. They always were behind on the School District that I live in. It would be called in to WBRE/WYOU 30 Min. before WNEP had it on their website. PAhomepage.com (WBRE and WYOU) took the lead when it came to the effects on my friends, family, and community.

Keep up the fine work, WBRE and WYOU!!! A+++++

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Snedeker made snow angels in the backyard, everyone would call it cute. Josh and Kerry do it, everyone criticizes.

Nope, no double-standards here.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WVIA? In ten years they'll make a Ken Burns-style documentary about the Valentine's Day storm: lots of zooming and panning and tilting on black-and-white photos while some basso profundo narrator competes with a guitar, pan flute and zither music track.

Garrison Keillor will voice the words of Mayor Tom Leighton. Martin Sheen will voice Ed Rendell.

It'll win lots of awards. WVIA will air it every nine or ten days through the year 2047.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the WVIA bashing again? We have three (really two) stations that broadcast news on television...Local PBS stations across the nation do NOT do a local newscast...
As Tom pointed out, why again do we need another station doing news? Can someone here who wants to rip VIA answer that for me?
PS- Thank goodness for The Price is Right, or WYOU would be in last place across the board...what will they do when Bob Barker quits?

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why the WVIA bashing again?"

C'mon, admit it, it's fun. I, for one, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on the outside chance one of the balloons will get punctured and deflate.

Same with those gasbags at WVIA. They don't answer to anyone; what's a little ribbing from people who actually work for a living. Can't they (you!) take it?

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WBRE has roughly a third of WNEP's audience, WYOU roughly a ninth. That's about what most had specualted. Combine WBRE's and WYOU's numbers in many day parts and they still fall short of WNEP's.

As to WBRE's numbers being their highest in a decade, no, I don't think so; WBRE did better numbers in the 1998-2000 period before the major crash in 2001-2002. The gap at eleven has always been more narrow than all other shows, at one time it was right about a share point, but that was 8-9 years ago.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like WBRE is starting to get stronger. Through in a live helicopter and an actual doppler radar then I think they will have 16 in the grinder. As for WYOU, the interactive call-in format does not seem to be cutting it at least so far. It would be cool if they split it off into a locally produced talk-show, though. Of course if they do that, it would be back to the days where most of the newscasts would consist of shared news footage / resources. At least this way (though with poor ratings) the two stations at least appear to be a little different from one another. Can't say much for the Pennsylvania Morning Crap, though. The ratings show that its the dumbest idea they ever had. I see stations in Montana with higher ratings.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:55 p.m. says WBRE is close to having WNEP "in the grinder."

Yup. Uh-huh. Sure. You betcha. Although I can't help but notice that WNEP's 6:00 A.M. news is seen in almost twice as many homes as WBRE's 6:00 P.M. news...and more than WBRE and WYOU 11 p.m.'s combined.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

News isn't part of WVIA's purview.

WVIA's mandate is to create really boring programming that appeals to people who took one of those "Improve Your Vocabulary at Home" courses so they could use words like "purview" and "mandate".

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like WBRE is starting to get stronger. Through in a live helicopter and an actual doppler radar then I think they will have 16 in the grinder.

Your family could have you committed for that remark if you based it on the numbers published here. WNEP is steamrolling WBRE and WYOU isn't even remotely a player.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I've seen and heard the interactive format has been getting a great response. Certainly the most attention that station has recieved in a long, long time. Give it a year to develop and get out there, then we'll see.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:22am...

Sure, WBRE had better numbers in '98-2000, but since then WNEP's numbers have dropped significantly. WBRE doesn't have monster numbers, but the gap has been closed.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"From what I've seen and heard the interactive format has been getting a great response."

12:19 PM


Yeah, on any given night a good seven or eight people take part in the "22 Interactive Poll."

The only hot-button issue they've EVER had was last week's snow, and that's a no-brainer.

Come to think of it--have you listened to some of the show's callers? They're no-brainers, too.

I'd complain to the FCC, but I think mis-labeling this crap as "news" is more a job for the fraud unit at the FTC.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The big and consistent loser appears to be WNEP. Do their directors wear blindfolds when punching a show? I've seen cleaner work on public access TV.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody won.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WYOU doesn't refer to themselves as "Channel 22" any more. Thanks for keeping up.

I see such a double-standard around here. If WNEP went with an interactive format, everyone here would tout it as genius. Nexstar does it and it's called a waste (and I'm talking about concept, not execution here). Case in point: Josh and Kerry get goofy in the snow and it's dumb. Snedeker gets way-more goofy all the time and it's good for ratings.

Explain that to me and tell me it's not a double-standard.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Do [WNEP] directors wear blindfolds when punching a show? I've seen cleaner work on public access TV."

6:05 AM


Let's face it, WNEP's directors haven't had a challenge since the gerbil races.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it me or does WOLF need to order some parts or what's the deal? When the tease for Paola's poorly lit 10PM thing comes up she ALWAYS goes into freeze frame. Where'd they get the HD transmitter from, Ollies?

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WYOU had Sen. Casey on thier set tonight answering viewer calls. Good scoop for them.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup. Uh-huh. Sure. You betcha. Although I can't help but notice that WNEP's 6:00 A.M. news is seen in almost twice as many homes as WBRE's 6:00 P.M. news...and more than WBRE and WYOU 11 p.m.'s combined.
-------------------

As long as Channel 50 continues take short cuts/cut corners, treat their people badly, and continue to be metro based they WILL ALWAYS be at the bottom. Sure once in a while they scoop 16, but who cares, most of the TV audience is watching 16!

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say this, but I do have to give WYOU some credit. At first the interactive was hard to watch, but they do have some good nights. I thought the coverage of the storm was the best in the market! Hard to say that, as a former employee of Deathstar. Give it some time, they have a nitch.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone see and hear Paula G. mess up her script regarding vandalism at a Susquehanna County, New Milford, well house on the 10 p.m. broadcast on Feb. 26? I believe she reported, "Don't touch or drink the water in the toilette."
Classic.

6:34 AM  

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