Don Paul’s long goodbye last week was a ratings hit for Channel 4.
The three nights that the CBS affiliate ran stories celebrating the meteorologist’s career at 6 p.m. all had double-digit ratings and soundly defeated Channel 2’s newscast at the same time.
On Monday, Channel 4 won in households, 11.4-10.1. On Tuesday, it won, 13.1-8.9. And on Paul’s finale Wednesday, it won, 13.4-8.3.
The victories on Paul’s Farewell Tour are helping Channel 4 win the news competition at 6 p.m. for the month of March. Channel 2 has pretty much won the time period for the past two years, except for a few times.
At the end of last week, Channel 4 was averaging a 9.5 in March to an 8.8 for Channel 2. Even if you take out the three newscasts celebrating Paul, Channel 4 is ahead at 6 p.m. A year ago, Channel 2 had a 9.9-9.8 edge, which is considered a statistical tie. Channel 7 is well back in third place with a 4.2 this March.
Channel 4 also is closing the gap at 5:30 p.m. Channel 2 still wins that newscast but the margin has been cut by two-thirds.
Of course, the full story doesn’t arrive until the demographics that advertisers care about are counted.
By the way, now that Paul has retired, Channel 4 is calling Todd Santos its “chief meteorologist.” Presumably, that also means a salary increase.
The victories that sent the Syracuse University men’s and women’s basketball team to the Final Four last Sunday continue to illustrate the difference in interest here for the games played by the two genders.
Syracuse’s 68-62 comeback win over Virginia early Sunday evening had a 6.2 local rating on cable’s TBS, which was almost 25 percent higher than the national average. That was the second highest-rated tournament game last week. The highest-rated game here was the 6.4 for Syracuse’s Friday night win over Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 carried by Channel 4. The games on the local CBS affiliate have been higher rated here than the cable games.
The Syracuse women’s victory over Tennessee Sunday afternoon had a 0.7 local rating on ESPN. That was higher than the earlier games featuring St. Bonaventure University and University at Buffalo women. However, it was only one-ninth of the rating for the game involving the Syracuse men’s team.
CBS analysts continue to confuse regular viewers of Syracuse men's basketball. That includes Kenny Smith, who might have been the only "expert" to pick Syracuse to beat both Gonzaga and Virginia. He said Sunday that Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim should use the full-court press more often because he has so many talented athletes. Anyone who has followed SU this year or over the years realizes Boeheim only plays six or seven players in a game, making it very difficult to press for an extended period of time without wearing his players out.
On the other hand, Boeheim received more coaching love after the Virginia victory from Charles Barkley and Smith than he probably has heard from any analyst in 40 years.
Not many WNYers caught the premiere of ABC’s stylish drama “The Catch” last Thursday. It had a 3.2 rating on Channel 7 and finished third in its time slot here. ABC repeated the first episode of the 10-part series on Monday night. It had a 2.1 rating, losing 75 percent of its lead-in from "Dancing with the Stars” (8.4). Of course, the show still has time to catch on with viewers via DVRs and On Demand.
The Dyngus Day special on Channel 7 at 7 p.m. Monday even beat “The Catch.” It had a 3.4 rating.