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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Big for "American Idol," Big for Ch 19 News

"American Idol" smashed the competition again on Night 2 here, which is why the folks at Ch. 19 and all Fox stations love it. "American Idol" Wednesday averaged a 24.3 rating and 36% share of the audience on Channel 19 from 8 to 10 p.m. -- which was more than the combined ratings for Channels 5, 9, 12, 64, public TV on 48 and low-power 38! Ouch!
And enough of the huge "American Idol" audience stuck around for the 10 p.m. news, which drew a bigger rating (more viewers) than the 11 p.m. newscasts on Channels 5, 9 or 12. The Fox 19 News averaged a 13.2 rating, while Ch. 12 news did a 12.3 at 11 p.m. So "American Idol" is not just a national prime-time phenomenon, it also lets Fox stations cash in with local news at 10 p.m. on the two-hour shows.
More ratings
A couple of ratings notes from last night:
--Nobody is watching CBS' heavily promoted "Armed & Famous," the reality show about celebrity police in Muncie, Ind. It drew a 1.6 rating and 2% share of the audience 8-9 p.m. on Ch. 12. (Wanna bet Ch 12 folks are on the phone to CBS urging them to dump the show?)
--Of course, that number looked giantic compared to the 0.3 rating for MyNetworkTV 's "Wicked Games" on Channel 64, which drew a 0.3 rating 8-9 p.m. Viewership was so low for MyNetworkTV's "Watch Over Me" at 9 p.m. that it got zilch ratings. Nada. Nothing. (Wanna bet some folks at Ch. 64 wisht they had the CinCW network?)
--The overnights also show that the Ch 12 news on Ch 64 at 10 p.m. must have a small core following. Even though nobody watched the 9 p.m. soap on Ch. 64, the half-hour 10 p.m. newscast drew a 2.7 rating and 4% audience share. So its appointment TV for some people already.
--At 11 p.m., Ch. 12's 12.3 rating was more than the combined news ratings for Ch 9 (4.9) and Ch. 5 (4.8).
Thought you'd wanna know. Your thoughts?


at 1/18/2007 5:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah after watching american idol i stayed up and watched fox19 news. I really liked what i saw,esp patt berry.
so at 11 5 is only .1 behind channel 9.
5's ratings have grown since derek was promoted.

at 1/18/2007 6:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would appear that My Network TV's days are numbered. I haven't seen anything on there that I wanted to watch.
Maybe CW can go to 64 and 12's HiDef picture will get better.

As far as American Idol, I've never watched the show. I just don't get the appeal of reality tv. I've never watched a complete episode of Survivor and couldn't watch more than one episode of amazing race. They all seem to be predicated on the idea of people being mean and snipy at each other.

at 1/18/2007 9:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see if 19 gets the same bump when AI is on from 8-9. And I enjoy 12/64's 10:00 newscast. The half-hour format is much preferred by me. 19's hour drags.

at 1/18/2007 9:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anon poster (1/18/2007 5:19 PM) above is way too inside. You're baiting, obviously.

at 1/18/2007 9:34 PM Blogger Aviator said...

A fan of 9 News, I'm surpised thier ratings were that low. What would happen if they switch Raliegh for Norris?

Both 9 & 12 have strong Anchors and News teams. 5 changes out the anchors/news team like they are changing someone's underwear. As has been posted before, they need to shore up their anchor desk for the prime time: Sheree, Dave, Derek and George.
Lets face it, Norma isn't coming back.

at 1/18/2007 9:44 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

To 9:34 Aviator:
You've got to remember that this is just a one-night snapshot. A big factor in Ch 9's low ratings at 11 p.m. Wednesday was that ABC's "PrimeTime" was a distant fourth here at 10 p.m., behind Ch. 19 news (13.2), CSI: NY (11.5), Medium (6.2) and PrimeTime (4.8). While Ch 19 got big boost from "American Idol" on Fox, conversely Ch 9 got diddly from ABC with "PrimeTime."

at 1/18/2007 9:44 PM Anonymous eneg said...

I too like the ch. 19 news at 10 pm although 1 hour does seem long as they repeat alot. I am trying very hard to like Valerie Abati's weather-cast because she is very attractive and she dresses nicely. But she whines too often and her smile appears to be phony.

at 1/18/2007 10:00 PM Blogger Aviator said...

You are right. I didn't take into account of the ratings for one (1) night. It is hard for a news magazine show to compete against shows such as "Idol" or even "24", especially when the shows are in the midst of a season premiere.

In all honesty, I would like to see 5 start climbing the overall ratings, back to the hay-day. But at the same time, they need to stabilize who they choose to be thier main anchors and when they use them.

Thanks for the continued insight.

at 1/18/2007 11:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched IDOL on Wednesday when they were in Seattle. I found the judges and producers to be a little too cruel for my taste. Not so much in what they said to the singers but the way they went out of the way to make fun of some of the more avant garde singers. Some of those folks are obviously not rocket scientists but they didnt deserve to be the butt of the judges cruel humor.

at 1/19/2007 12:15 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i surf when it comes to the news.i know that the reporters and anchors are trained to have prominent voices and all that but i feel or maybe its my imagination but i feel that they are just way to much of a booming voice, i do have to play with the volume to tone some of them down and to hear some of them. i just surf to find the peple with softer voices. i dont care who gets the best ratings. what does anyone else think if john is kind enough to let us know and the stupid people who start trouble stay away

at 1/19/2007 1:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

19 may have brought in the ratings last night, but I know as much as I was hiding my face for them because of Pat Berry being back on Citizen high to citizen low. Why is it taking 19 so long to hire a chief meteorologist? And as far as the other 3 go...I stick with 12 and 9. 5 can't grasp the concept to keep hold of their news teams.

at 1/19/2007 2:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


The low/non existent ratings for MyNetwork Tv simply confirms for me that Channel 64 made a huge blunder by not picking up the CW network.

I agree with Anon 6:25PM that there is nothing on 64's prime time schedule that I want to see. The programming, if you can call it that, is just stunningly awful. I wish that they could somehow drop MyNetwork TV and pick up the CW net instead. It would be great for those of us who still don't have HD TV or cable.

at 1/19/2007 12:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 9 News is starting to give me heart burn. Every blasted night they lead off the news with murders, accidents, drug arrests, and other crimes and bad news... Then we get Iraq and Terrorism segments... How depressing....

at 1/19/2007 12:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

64's trouble is that it is owned by Sinclair. You have to remember that Sinclair owned A LOT of WB affiliates across the country and they were not consulted when WB and UPN decided to combine. The choice to go with MY Network was probably more of a knee-jerk reaction to bruised egos than a sound business decision. Either way the management in Cincinnati had very little input.

at 1/19/2007 4:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kiese my question is to you is how are the ratings for news 5 today since eric green debuted. He is a rising star.

at 1/19/2007 10:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

These post-Idol numbers may be unique, in that 19 is beating Ch12 - but 19 beating Ch5 or depending on the night, beating Ch9 is nothing new. The size of the rating is greater than most nights but the 10pm news always does pretty well. Another ratings story we never really hear about is how often The Simpsons on Ch19 beats the 11pm news on 5 and sometimes 9. John always used to talk about how well Cheers did on Ch12 against Letterman and Carson/Leno but he doesn't mention much about The Simpsons.

at 1/20/2007 1:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 12:00 1/19 Anon:

You must only be watching 9 News because all the other stations stick the murders/fatal car crashes/drug busts up top, too.

Hence: "If it bleeds, it leads."

at 1/20/2007 3:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, how are the weekend newscast ratings? I find that channel 9 news is unwatchable. The prompter reading is horrible.

Does 9 staff have anything to say about this?

at 1/21/2007 12:15 AM Blogger dmdavis said...

Please explain these Nielson ratings and how scientific and statistically accurate they are. Who in their right mind has time to track,log, and then report what they watch on TV. People who would keep track of such a thing probably are not very successful and thus have very little spending power to support the products being advertised. Also, how does Nielson factor in DVR viewers. I rarely watch a program live. I hate commercials and feel that they are a waste of time. Will network TV be a dinosaur in ten years when everyone has DVR's and no one watches commercials?

at 1/21/2007 12:26 AM Blogger dmdavis said...

Just how statistically scientific are these Nielson ratings? Any person who has time and chooses to log and report what they watch on TV is probably non-productive and unsuccessful. Thus, they have very little spending power to support the products being advertised. How do DVR's figure in these calculations. I rarely watch a program live. I hate commercials and feel they are a waste of my valuable life. If a football game starts at 1:00, I start watching at 2:00 so I can fast forward through the commercials. Football games now go to commercial right after a kickoff after just coming back from commercial. Is network TV going to be a dinosaur in ten years when everyone uses DVR's and no one watches commercials?

at 1/21/2007 7:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you see or hear about Letterman and a bit he did, about prisoner viewers sending him letters/drawings?

The prisoners were from "Warren County Corrections from Lebanon Ohio."

On the same program, Cincinnati was mentioned on the Top10 list.

I'm noticing lately he's been using some old Carson and Paul Dixon jokes.

at 1/21/2007 2:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does WLWT have to switch out of Hi Def broadcasting of the Detroit auto show to put the stupid crawl at the bottom of the screen. If I want to know about the weather and closings, I'll tune to their weather channel. As it was, I just watched the Dayton station which, thankfully was in Hi Def with no weather bug or "white death" alerts on the bottom of the screen.

at 1/21/2007 6:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any truth to the rumor that Ch. 19 is going to have their reporters use their own cameras? Another cost cutting measure or just rumor?

at 1/22/2007 7:26 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have survived the white death, but not without the help from our local newsrooms.

Saturday night Pat Berry predicts "It won't be nothing, but it will be something". If that doesn't clear off the bread shelves at Kroger's, I don't know what will.

Then there was the one and only Courtis Fuller on Sunday night, post mortem. 6 of his first 8 stories started with the word "Well". He had a reporter at a Kroger store in Fairfield where she informed us "they are putting ICE on the parking lot at this Kroger parking lot." (her exact words). Maybe that's because all the natural snow and ice had been removed some six hours earlier. Then we had the obligatory reporter on a hilly street, the salt-truck driver story,the kids sledding and the slippery interstate.

Can't anybody come up with a fresh idea? Why doesn't channel 5 just keep those 5 stories in the can and just replay them everytime we get 3 inches of snow, most of which melts before 6pm.

at 1/22/2007 1:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, my thoughts exactly... Immediately after Pat Barry, we go immediately to the grocery store. I wanted to scream--it is just so lame; but they report it over and over and over... Anymore, gang, local news is merely a caricature of itself. It's a shame, isn't it? So much time-so little news. So we end up with poop.

at 1/22/2007 3:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear we will not be able to see American Idol until 10:30pm, after the Bearcats game, this Wednesday. That stinks, as far as I am concerned.

at 1/22/2007 4:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the tv stations and their overkill of the great white death. With the scrolling closings and the weather maps in the corner it made it ridiculous to watch the local stations for most of the day, i did notice they took off the scrolls and maps for the football games whichmakes me go hmmmmmmmmm. my other rant is why cant the tv web sites update during the weekend i mean i very rarely see updates other than weather news is 27/7 they blast us with news all during the week but not on weekends

at 1/22/2007 4:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

anoym. 7:26 p.m. in right on target with Courtis Fuller ----

Why in the WORLD does he have to start every story with the word "Well" or saying "Let me Tell you" or "I want you to know....."

It is SOOOOOO ANNOYING!!!!!! You would expect more from a veteran anchor/reporter.....

at 1/23/2007 10:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the First Poster: I don't know where you are getting your ratings numbers from on channel 5, but their 11 pm news numbers are down 18% from last January when they had Jim O'Brien doing weather. So that means people are not watching Derek like you say they are.

at 1/27/2007 12:31 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

I just HAD to add my RANT against local stations and END OF THE WORLD SNOW WARNINGS.

CRIPES, I tried to watch Sunday morning last Sunday and 12 STAYED on the air like we had a 2 foot blizzard. THEN they finally let CSM on and kept BREAKING IN...I finally switched to Dayton station and then THEY started breaking was so &^%$#*@! ANNOYING> Can't they just LEAVE US ALONE.

We are being HELD HOSTAGE BY THE WEATHERMEN/PRODUCERS just to watch a simple tv show. I RARELY watch local stations unless I REALLY want to do to this nonsense.

They do it ALL YEAR LONG..EVERY time it thunders and lightenings they whip folks into a frenzy about POTENTIAL FOR BAD WEATHER. They break in with such frequency, it's like crying wolf. It's as if big brother wants to save us from ourselves.

I wonder how I lived this many decades using my own common sense and looking at the sky. with all the 24/7 cable weathre it ain't necessary.

AND why can't they break in BRIEFLY during commercials. They want to show off their Super Duper Dopplers and the weatherman want to have their own shows or something. They go on FOREVER.

Then, they leave their little ever changing graphics, with 28 counties (YES, I have counted) and the other wordings and such. It can screw up watching Letterman and worse, it can screw up a car race.

I will NEVER forget Pete Delkus breaking in to the Indy 500 some years ago acting like the world was going to end and the storms were way FAR AWAY in Indiana and even near illinions?!WTH?

I have tried calling and complaining and either they don't answer their phones and I get voice mail or they say "viewership is high when they broadcast this stuff."

I say baloney and get all these **** closings off my tv screen. Check the websites or call the bingo hall.

I don't need to hear on Sunday night at 9pm that CHURCH was canceled that morning.

Aaargh. Sorry for the rant but I think somebody touched a nerve.

If ONLY we could stop this insanity. We need a pop blocker on our TV SCREENS to stop the weather junk and get rid of the on screen promos that appear on my screen..this 'commercial' during the show is another irritant.

Sorry..this weather junk just gets worse. When they broke in on Sunday to say "the snow is better now and mainly flurries and the WORST is over and then gave a weather forecast, I nearly shot my tv. Well, I don't own a gun but ....

Off my soapbox and slamming the door as I leave.

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