Monthly Archives: June 2013

Management Carousel Spins at WNYW, WWOR

By JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

Fox5small1Veteran market news director Dianne Doctor is on the move. She’s leaving her post at WNYW/Channel 5 for the newly created title of VP and station manager at Fox’s WWOR.

The New Jersey native will head to Secaucus instead of East 67th Street.

TVSpy reports that Doctor will oversee content and programming for WWOR. She succeeds Jim Driscoll, who was Channel 9 news director.

Across the Hudson, Byron Harmon takes Doctor’s place as news director. He joined WNYW last year from CNN International. He also worked at WCBS/Channel 2 as executive producer.

WABC’s Bill Evans and Wife Charged with Assault in Domestic Violence Incident

220px-Bill_Evans,_meteorologist_croppedBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

Here we go again! Bill Evans is the latest TV news personality to join the annals of tabloid fodder.

Evans, the veteran WABC-TV weatherman, and his wife Dana were charged with assault and disorderly conduct.

The arrest involves an incident on May 4 at the Evans’ Old Greenwich, CT home.

His attorney Philip Russell said in the statement:
“Bill and Dana are presently going through a difficult divorce. Our understanding is that on May 20, more than two weeks after an argument, Dana was advised by her divorce attorneys to file the complaint which led to the police investigation.”

FTV Live reports that Dana Evans spoke about the allegations in counseling, at which time it was suggested that she file a police report.

Bill Evans, 52, is the Channel 7 morning weather anchor. With the station since 1989, Evans is referred to as “Senior Meteorologist.”

WABC had no comment “on personal matters involving our employees. We are reviewing the situation and have no further comment at this time.”

While the station is assuming a low profile, weather meteorologists Amy Freeze and Jeff Smith have picked up the slack in Evans’ absence.

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Debate Time in New York; NY1, WCBS, and WNBC Get Selected

WNBC new logoBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

Election season is upon us, and that means we’re about to be inundated with debates. The New York City Campaign Finance Board yesterday made its debate sponsors official. Actually the stations were announced exclusively by this reporter in April.

The confirmation and schedule is now available. NY1, WCBS/Channel 2, WNBC/Channel 4 will participate in up to 15 citywide debates, of course led by the mayoral campaign. A Democratic mayoral runoff is planned as needed. But there will be a four primary debates, two for each party.

WNBC will host one of each. The Democratic debate is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3 at 7 p.m. The following Sunday at 11:30 a.m., the Republican hopefuls spar about the issues. Both debates will also be broadcast by WOR Radio.

A WNBC spokesperson tells Tuned In that anchor David Ushery and political reporter Melissa Russo will lead the questioning. They will be joined by journalists from sister station Telemundo Nueva York/Channel 47 and the Wall Street Journal.

NY1 and WNYC broadcast the other Democratic primary on August 21 at 7, while WCBS-TV and WCBS 880/1010 WINS air the other Republican debate.

As for the general election, there are two debates on the docket. First up is the Channel 2/WCBS 880-WINS triumvirate on October 22 at 7 p.m. Sister station WLNY airs the debate in Spanish.

The next Tuesday, October 29, also at 7 p.m., WNBC and WOR 710 have the final mayoral debate.

Election day is November 5.

NBA Finals Takes WABC to Weekly Prime Time Ratings Glory

NBA-Finals-Feature-300x150By JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are tangling in the NBA Finals on ABC. The Thursday opener won the week in the New York Nielsen ratings. Game 1 had an estimated 1.3 million Channel 7 viewers with a 6.8 rating.

Excitement under the backboard edged excitement from Broadway. The annual Tony Awards, broadcast by CBS was second best for the week. The Sunday night special tallied 1.1 million viewers and a 5.3 rating.

But it’s back to basketball in the Top 5.

Game 2 of the Finals scored at number four with 938,000 viewers and a 4.8 rating. TNT notched huge numbers for Game 7 of the Eastern Finals. The matchup ranked third for the week with 976,000 fans and a 5.0 rating.

After the sports and specials, 60 Minutes took the fifth spot (755,000/3.9).

NBC’s The Voice grabbed a pair of positions in the Top 10—sixth (658,000/3.4) and a tie for seventh (648,000/3.3).

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Channel 11 Wins Its Own Game of ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’

Window Cleaning PIXBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

WPIX is trying to reinvent itself with a harder slant on news coverage, amid the station’s tanking ratings.

But news director Mark Effron‘s regime at Channel 11 stumbled badly on yesterday’s 5 p.m. newscast anchored by Tamsen Fadal.

In breaking news, two window washers dangled from scaffolding high above Hearst Tower on West 57th Street.

As the story developed, WPIX spoke on the phone to Stefan Bright of the Window Cleaning Association. However, the station awkwardly chose to abbreviate “Association” with “Ass.” in the graphic, even though there was clearly plenty of room on the screen.

Instead, the station that desperately wants to be recognized on the same level as the New York City heavyweights had “Window Cleaning Ass.” greeting viewers under Bright’s name.

A moment like this can only further discolor the black eye of WPIX, which is seemingly in a battle with itself.

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WCBS 880, WNBC Grab Three Murrow Awards

WCBS-880-logo smallBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards for more than 40 years. This year WCBS 880 takes three trophies back to Hudson Street.

WCBS, in the large market category, is part of the region that also includes New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

WCBS won the two big awards–Overall Excellence and Best Newscast. That honor was bestowed upon the station for its coverage the morning after Superstorm Sandy. The WCBS news team also earned the prestigious prize for The Fury of Sandy.

“We know how much sacrifice and commitment it took to carry our coverage through the storm and its aftermath,” WCBS 880 news director Tim Scheld said in a memo to staffers.  “We didn’t do it for the awards, we did it because that’s what we do.”

WNYC-FM won the Best News Documentary category, while Bloomberg Radio/WBBR was victorious in the Best News Series.

WINS’ John Montone was named winner in the Best Use of Sound/Video category for his Mouth Off To Montone segment.

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Brand New Documentary Keys on Volatile 80s Talker, Morton Downey Jr.

evocateur-posterBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

For a brief moment in the late 1980s, 55-year-old Morton Downey Jr. found the stardom that eluded him for his entire career. But as quickly as he shot to fame, he burned out.

In a new documentary by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger, Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr Movie examines that dramatic rise and fall with the backdrop of trying to duplicate, or to outshine, his successful parents.

The film, being distributed by Magnolia Pictures, was released last Friday mostly to smaller art houses as part of a smaller theatrical presence. However Evocateur, screened at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, is also available now on TV via On Demand and for downloading through iTunes. He anticipates the film will reach Netflix customers in the short term, and ultimately could be shown on cable.

With a direct lineage to politics-themed Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and the trashy Jerry Springer and Maury Povich, Kramer tells Tuned In that the timing was right for Downey’s story to finally be told. He says the three filmmakers are “recovering Mort fans.”

In 1987, Bob Pittman, who founded MTV, approached Downey about coming to television. Downey had begun turning heads as a right-wing radio host, and over-the-top guest. This was the era of kinder, gentler fare, with Phil Donahue still ruling the roost.

“It was like if you gave someone psychotic their own talk show,” Kramer says. “He was the most brutal, abusive host in the history of television.”

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WLTW Holds at Number One; WCBS-FM Closes Gap Slightly in 2nd

wltw_2010_200x90By JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

It’s a familiar pattern: WLTW/Lite-FM was the top-rated station in the 6+ Arbitron PPM ratings for May.

The nearest competitor, WCBS-FM, dropped .1 to 6.1, but it was still the Classic Hits home’s closest position to WLTW in many books.

WBLS remains locked in third with its newfound success as part of YMF Media. It saw a .3 rise to 5.9.

Z100 arrived at 5.9 from the opposite direction, slipping .1.

It was an impressive month for Classic Rocker WAXQ/Q104.3, gaining .3 to 4.6 to fifth place.

WINS was next with a 4.5, down .2 from May. WCBS 880 was on the slight uptick to 3.7. Sister station WFAN (with its combined AM and FM simulcast) had a 2.8, a slight improvement.

ESPN New York/WEPN-FM remains in the distance with a 1.6, although jumping .3.

WNYC had the biggest fall for June, losing .5 to 1.8.

Cumulus’ NASH-FM, in “plateau mode,” picked up .1 to 1.9, while Penn Plaza co-tenant WPLJ improved .2 to 3.2 just missing a Top 10 showing.

WCBS 880 Wins Seven New York Press Club Awards; New York Times Grabs Six

WCBS-880-logo smallBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

The New York Press Club presents its annual journalism awards tonight in Manhattan. The winners were already informed. WCBS-AM won for its coverage of Superstorm Sandy and the tragedy in Newtown. The all-newser also was awarded a trophy for its Eye on Politics segment hosted by Steve Scott, one of the Press Club’s re-elected officers. In addition, the station was recognized for its breaking news coverage of the Empire State Building shooting.

Among The New York Times winners, reporter Walt Bogdanich was the recipient of the Gold Keyboard for Investigative Journalism.

The Press Club created 21 special awards to honor Hurricane Sandy coverage. NY1 and The New York Times were among the winners.

WABC’s Matt Kozar won for spot news coverage, while WNBC’s videographer-extraordinaire Michael DelGuidice took the prize for spots news video category.

Bloomberg Radio/TV was honored with multiple awards for 2013.

TNT and HBO Grab the Biggest Chunk of the Ratings Pie

ThronesBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

The prime time ratings for New York show a good week for cable networks. Specifically, Time Warner’s TNT and HBO, which tied for first place, according to Nielsen.

HBO had its Sunday night must see viewing Game of Thrones with an estimated 786,000 viewers and a 4.0 rating. Game 5 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals had 778,000 fans with a 4.0. Marv Albert and company also scored with Tuesday’s Game 4 in a third-place tie (751,000/3.8) and Game 6 on Sunday in a tie for seventh (593,000/3.0).

60 Minutes squeezed into a number three tie (754,000/3.8).

NBC’s The Voice brought up the middle with a fifth and sixth-place showings. The episodes combined for 657,000 WNBC viewers and a 3.3 rating.

CBS’s Big Bang Theory tied for seventh (586,000/3.0).

More from the Top 10 after the jump.

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