This is what I’m thinking:
The Nielsen results since Channel 4’s decision to drop a regular sportscast inside its 6 p.m. news are as confusing as the events in the second season premiere of HBO’s “True Detective."
And one may need to be a detective to figure out what it all means.
Channel 4 has won eight weeks, lost six weeks to Channel 2 and tied one since Channel 4 made its sports move. That is better than it had been doing before the switch.
But Channel 4 lost the most significant four weeks – the ones during the May sweeps -- to Channel 2. Channel 2 won the sweeps, 9.2-8.4.
Since Channel 4's sports move in March, it is tied with Channel 2 at 6 p.m. with an 8.9 rating as of Tuesday. Since the sweeps ended on May 25, Channel 4 and Channel 2 were in a tie with ratings averaging 8.5 at 6 p.m. Channel 7 is a poor third with less than half of the audience of the other two stations.
Why would Channel 2 win the sweeps and then drop into a tie after they ended?
It could be due to a variety of reasons – the importance of sports news, the choice of news series, the change in Nielsen viewers among the chief factors.
If the trend continues, it will be good news for Channel 4 since Nielsen is going to provide monthly demographics starting in October that will negate the importance of the four sweeps periods.
Of course, Channel 4 hasn’t abandoned sports during its 6 p.m. newscasts. Lauren Brill and Steve Vesey can appear inside the newscast with features and when there is important sports news.
On the 6 p.m. newscast Tuesday, Brill did a decent story about Taylor Wood, a Frontier High soccer player who suffered a series of concussions while trying the head the ball in games.
But it is hard to understand why Brill didn’t mention that Wood was going to be featured that night in a story on HBO’s “Real Sports” titled “Girl Interrupted.”
Wood’s situation also was given even more attention Sunday in an excellent Buffalo News column by Greg Connors that included the details of the “Real Sports” feature.
Local television news often does stories that it is alerted to by this newspaper without giving credit so it was no surprise that Connors’ piece wasn’t mentioned by Brill. But Brill should have given HBO credit.
CBS News reports that an Orchard Park native, Dave Barrett, won a prestigious Edward R. Murrow for his CBS Radio News feature on Sept. 14, 2014 on the 200th anniversary of the writing of the National Anthem.
Barrett, who joined CBS Radio in 2001 after previously working at Fox News Radio, ABC Radio and ESPN radio, also won a Murrow Award in 1998 for sports reporting for a profile on Tiger Woods.
Days 2 and 3 of the Lester Holt era on “The NBC Nightly News” have gone much better locally than his premiere day on Monday. After losing Monday locally to CBS, Holt’s newscast was a huge No. 1 here on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday, the 10.1 rating for “Nightly News” almost equaled the combined ratings for “The CBS Evening News” (5.4) and ABC’s “World News Tonight.”
My spies tell me that tonight's episode of "Jeopardy" features a Buffalo contestant. Edmund Cardoni, executive director of Hallwalls, is on the popular program that airs at 7:30 p.m on Channel 4.