Inquiring minds want to know: Did WIVB-TV's decision to replace Brittni Smallwood with newcomer Melanie Orlins have any impact on the station's ratings in Orlins' first month as co-anchor of the morning program "Wake Up!"?
The short answer is not much.
Of course, the bigger question is whether Western New York viewers will stay with the new "Wake Up!" team of Orlins and co-anchor Jordan Williams now that summer viewing has ended. It will take months to determine the impact the Orlins for Smallwood switch will have on the morning TV wars.
In the 4:30 a.m. battle, WIVB-TV remained No. 1 in August over WGRZ-TV's "Daybreak" by a slimmer margin in households than in July but a greater margin in the age 25-54 demographic important to local advertisers. Channel 7's morning program actually had a higher rating in the age 25-54 demographic than Channel 2 for second place in the category in that time slot. A year ago, Channel 2 was a winner in households.
At 5 a.m., Channel 2 and Channel 4 tied in household ratings in August and Channel 4 won the 25-54 demographic. Channel 4 won in July in households and in the demographic when Smallwood was in the co-anchor seat. A year ago, Channel 2 was a big winner in households and in the demo.
At 6 a.m., Channel 2 won by a smaller margin in households, 4.4-4.2, this August than in July (4.6-3.9) but its lead in the age 25-54 demo remained steady. A year ago, Channel 2 dominated by much bigger margins in households and in the 25-54 demo.
At noon, when Channel 2 doesn't compete, Channel 4's lead over Channel 7 in August with Orlins in the anchor chair was reduced from July and a year ago. It wins now with a 7.2 household rating to a 5.0 for Channel 7's newscast anchored by Keith Radford and only wins the 25-54 demo by a tenth of a point.
A month ago, Channel 4 had a 7.6-4.6 lead. And a year ago, its household lead was 7.8-4.1 and it had a 3-1 lead in the demo.