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Local stations all find good news in sweeps numbers

This is what I’m thinking …

The May sweeps period ended Wednesday with something for everybody in local news to cheer.

Channel 2 remains No. 1 at 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. even though it has experienced significant ratings losses year to year.

Channel 4 has narrowed the gap in all those time periods – to less than a point from 5 p.m. through 6:30 p.m. – and is No. 1 as usual at 11 p.m. It also is No. 1 at 5 a.m. and at 10 p.m. Channel 2 and Channel 4 newscasts appear on WUTV and WNLO, respectively, at 10 p.m.

And third-place Channel 7 is the only station to see gains in all time periods – most significantly from 5 p.m. through 6:30 p.m. – from last year but it generally gets about half the audience of the first-place station in most time slots.

Of course, the full story doesn’t arrive until the demographics come, and this May there is a new wrinkle: The demos here are determined by comparing Buffalo to six bigger Northeastern markets – New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh – even if different programs appear in the time slots being measured.


Western New Yorkers will soon see more Syracuse University graduates on the air and working behind the scenes at Channel 7 as part of the E.W. Scripps initiative that the company also has with journalism schools at Arizona State and the University of Missouri.

Under the Journalism Career Program, four recent Newhouse School graduates will work at Channel 7 for a year in digital, multimedia journalism and production.

Paolo Suro, Josh Bazan, Bretton Keenan and Cole Ellenbogan will join the 7 Eyewitness News team June 6.

Suro has interned at WSYR-TV in Syracuse, “Good Morning America,” Univision Communications and WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. She will be a multimedia journalist, or MMJ.

Bazan, who also has been an MMJ, has been an intern in Syracuse and Tallahassee, Fla.

Keenan, who interned at WHAM-TV in Rochester, New York and WCBS Newsradio 880 AM, will be an MMJ and digital reporter.

Ellenbogan, who interned in Syracuse and New York City, will be behind the scenes as a producer.


Inquiring minds want to know: Where does the Buffalo TV market rank in viewership of the Stanley Cup playoffs?

As usual, Buffalo is a big hockey town.

According to NBC, Buffalo was No. 3 in the playoffs as of Tuesday and the top market without a playoff team.

But it isn’t like all of Western New York is interested. The first 67 games on cable before most of last week’s games averaged a 1.9 metered market rating in Buffalo, which was only behind Pittsburgh (3.6) and St. Louis (2.8).

When broadcast network games are included, Buffalo averaged a 2.1 rating, behind Pittsburgh (4.0) and St. Louis (3.4).

That means the NHL games are being watched in about 12,000 Western New York households on average.


Inquiring minds also want to know: What happened to Channel 4 on Monday when all network and syndicated programming was knocked off the air until sometime in the afternoon? The station was able to carry local news.

According to Channel 4, a massive power failure at the station’s master control hub in Springfield, Mass., prevented CBS morning programs and syndicated shows like “Let’s Make a Deal” from airing. It was fixed later in the day. It would have been a bigger problem if it had continued through prime time.


NBC may have learned a “Meet the Press” lesson.

On May 15, NBC outraged some Western New Yorkers when it pre-empted the popular political discussion program during a presidential election year for a soccer championship game.

The network also had planned to pre-empt moderator Chuck Todd and friends again this Sunday to carry a Formula 1 race from 7:30 to 10 a.m.

However, NBC has now changed that plan and is giving affiliates like Channel 2 an opportunity to carry “MTP” at some point.

Channel 2 plans to run the program at 11 a.m. Sunday.

It is unclear if NBC got as many complaints nationally as it did here, but it certainly is wise to offer affiliates a chance to run the program.

And it is smart of Channel 2 to alert its viewers of the switch this time around. However, my cable guide presently lists a paid program as airing at 11 a.m. Sunday on Channel 2.


Mark Bouquin, the 26-year-old Colden man who is one of the 16 competitors who started in the Fox survival series “American Grit,” needs more of your support. Bouquin has been one of the stars of the program, which isn’t getting much local or national viewership.

The highest-rated of the last four episodes was a 1.7 on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. The last episode had a 0.9 rating here. Those are the kind of ratings that normally get series cancelled.

A former member of the Springville High School football team, Bouquin has the nickname “The Lumberjack” on a program that has up to $1 million of prize money at stake.