Monday, July 11, 2005


Thanks to another insider, I got to peek at the numbers for the July "book" (less than two weeks in) which confirmed what others were saying - but I asked a good friend who's an expert on these and he/she gave me some perspective.

Yes- KPTV's 10pm viewership is larger than KGW's at 11. Channel 8 has no real competition at 11 from KOIN or KATU.

Good Day Oregon has a slight lead from 6a - 7a - the most important local hour in the morning and continues to pummel the Today Show (NBC) from 7 - 9am. Unlike the rest of the country, Good Morning America (ABC) is not doing much here in P-town.

KGW is still winning from 5-7pm, but here's where my friend pointed out something interesting. This is a lousy statistical sample for KGW and doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. The numbers for their early newscasts are on a free fall - which is against all logic for the market. And they don't add up from the last book in May. It looks like the people with Nielsen boxes right now are not KGW watchers and/or, because it's summer, they aren't watching NBC stuff. Even Oprah's not doing much - which is weird considering the press she's getting about her Paris shopping trip. Inside KGW, panic is not happening because they are doubting the sample big time.

If there was a turnover of households with the meters, that could explain it as well.

And then there's the issue of VOD - viewership on demand, which is huge for Comcast customers, people with TIVO and PVR's, etc. Read here what's coming.

KATU, in June and July, has started to pull away from KOIN for sole possession of 2nd place in the early evening newscasts (I can already hear the shouting inside that monolith on Sandy - "We're number two - We're number two). For those who mentioned KOIN bottoming out - they haven't quite gotten there (Ken Boddie and co have the best ratings for news at that station).

Someone noted only KPTV cares about the July book, which isn't really true. It's just looking like they might have something to crow about. And considering all the radio stations that claim they're number one, get ready for the late summer hype.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete Schulberg's column in last week's Tribune said that KATU is about to air right/left political commentary by Rob Kramer and Mark Abrams, who do a radio show on KXL on Sunday mornings.

Might help KATU further distinguish itself and pull away from KOIN.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 8:19:00 AM  
Blogger PDXMediaWatcher said...

I seriously doubt commentary is going to give any station numbers, unless they take a swing at each other. Schulberg has been calling for commentary since his Oregonian days. It's old school and no assignment editor is ever going to be told to get b-roll for tonight's segment versus the other news. That's why we have talk radio incessantly on the air.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 9:12:00 AM  
Anonymous KPTV Change Today said...

Station-wide meeting this morning...General Manager Teresa Burgess was fired. She was hired during the merge with KPDX 3 years ago.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 9:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Ex KATU Dude said...

I'm really not sure that the old "Town Hall" format as well as commentary will work in this city. It might come off as being too cerebral. In these days of "Meth Watch" and news that entertains more than informs, it would be hard to get an audience for it.

The local angle is nice for KATU except that aside from the random crime blotter story, there aren't many free rides for stories in this city. They need to come up with segments that really provide good information that can help the individual viewer. Things they've done in the past for example include tips on saving power or money can apply to everyone. A station that can provide good information with the bad news and warnings can make a difference here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 9:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish you well Teresa. You'll land on your feet somewhere soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 9:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that consultants love "tips," but I've never been convinced that anybody really pays attention to them. I change the station when they come on.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pissing contests on TV are so 90s

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KPTV Change Today said...
"Station-wide meeting this morning...General Manager Teresa Burgess was fired. She was hired during the merge with KPDX 3 years ago."

Um, isn't this like big news in the TV world? Like a newspaper's publisher being fired? Or a corporation's top Oregon executive?

Just seems like there'd be more comments on this, esp. from the TV people.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:41:00 PM  
Anonymous dotyoureyes said...

Yes, I'm surprised KPTV's GM got the axe -- it's rare for owners to mess with success.

Considering KPTV's ratings growth (and the likelihood of starting early evening newscasts), for Meredith to shake things up is a bit of a shock.

You expect these things to happen during KOIN's free fall, but not at a station that's growing. My only thought is that she (or the sales staff) were unable to turn the ratings growth into the kind of profit growth Meredith expected.

Can anyone confirm/deny that?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:47:00 PM  
Anonymous KPTV Insider said...

dotyoureyes said:
"My only thought is that she (or the sales staff) were unable to turn the ratings growth into the kind of profit growth Meredith expected."

That's what we suspect, but we don't know for sure. KPTV/KPDX sales has been sluggish for a while (especially on the KPDX side), but we thought they were trending up. If sales isn't the reason for Teresa's departure, the only other thing it could be is that her goals & outlook for the duopoly didn't jive with the new Meredith guy's goals & outlook for the stations. Most of the worker bees in the newsroom (myself included) probably won't ever know for sure why this happened.

What I do know is that this is a sad day for us in the KPTV newsroom. Teresa was well-liked and very supportive of all the employees. Chances are the next GM will not be nearly as good to us, so today's announcement was not welcome news to the KPTV news staff.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 2:46:00 PM  
Anonymous KGW is down said...

PDXmediawatcher writes:

"Inside KGW, panic is not happening because they are doubting the sample big time.

"If there was a turnover of households with the meters, that could explain it as well."

This rationalization doesn't make sense to me. KGW's morning and noon numbers are even with last July. Yet KGW's early & late evening newscasts are down sharply. If there was a weird sampling issue, don't you think all of KGW's newscasts would be affected across the board?

I think the numbers are real, and we're witnessing a downhill slide for KGW. It started last year in the morning. Now it's happening in the evening. The product is getting very stale. Still market tops, but growing more tired each day. No new ideas, just the same automatic pilot.

We know how hard it is for a station to move up to #1, but we don't acknowledge how hard it can be to stay there over time. KGW has gotten complacent. They don't fight to be #1 anymore, they just accept that it happens. The creative laziness is showing, and people are tiring of the boring NewsChannel 8.

I feel a change in the wind. It happens in this market every 5-10 years. Time may be up for KGW...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is coming from someone who works at KPTV... KGW continues to be the class of the market. We MAY beat them late nights this book and MAY beat them mornings. But I doubt very seriously that will happen in November.. (at least nights). And I think KATU and KOIN have a looooong way to catch up to 8. Until someone knocks them off consistently and solidly for a full year, they will continue to be the gold standard.

Complacent? I don't see that.
Overconfident.. they were.. I'm not sure about now.

Their product... a bit less consistent that a few years ago, but their look is still tops. And when the big story breaks I'll go there first when sizing up the competition.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 5:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody cares about the July book... let me repeat... no one cares... especially advertisers

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 9:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I care.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 9:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Somebody Better Care said...

Or else I'm wasting my time working during the summer when everybody in the rest of the world takes time off

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the highly rated KPTV/Good Day Oregon connection, why doesn't KPAM have better numbers in the morning?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 11:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with anon 9:05...

I've heard exactly ZERO mentions of July book cumes in our shop, from management or sales. No one but KPTV runs targeted sweeps pieces in July. Only KPTV runs contests during sweeps.

If July book matters in any other shop than 12, please step forward and tell us which ones!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 12:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one cares because no one wacthes tv in the summer, especially in the northwest. The hut numbers are waaaay down. It is not a true reflection of ratings.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 1:31:00 PM  
Anonymous historian said...

True, HUT numbers are very low this July. But...

KPTV might end the month with their best 10pm numbers ever...

And KATU is averaging 1 full ratings point HIGHER at 5pm than they did in May, and is nearly even in most other time periods.

Sorry, but given the success noted above, the argument that KGW isn't doing well because it's summer and the HUT numbers are low is nonsense. If that were true, then all stations would be suffering.

KGW is simply having a bad book. Whether or not the numbers are real is a legitimate question. We'll know in the fall.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 3:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part of the trouble is that there ain't no news, locally. It's a very slow summer here in Stumptown--so far. Watch KGW rocket back up, if there's an actual big-deal breaker.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 4:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

### Anonymous said...
With the highly rated KPTV/Good Day Oregon connection, why doesn't KPAM have better numbers in the morning?

11:01 PM, July 12, 2005 ###

The show's still evolving and they've got a great new PD. Give it a little more time. Their morning show beat KXL in their target demo for the last trend, but the real proof is in the quarterly ratings book.

Friday, July 15, 2005 9:40:00 AM  

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