Friends and co-workers are in mourning after the stunning death of Lisa Colagrossi. The veteran Channel 7 reporter died from a brain hemorrhage after covering a story Thursday morning. She was 49.
Longtime WABC-TV anchor Bill Ritter says what most close to Colagrossi are feeling.
“We are all crushed, devastated,” Ritter tells Tuned In. “Lisa was the ultimate pro, and set the bar for how to work hard and effectively as both an immersed reporter and an immersed mom and spouse. I’m filled with sorrow, but also with joy for having known her.”
A familiar face since joining WABC in 2001, at home Colagrossi was hockey mom to her two sons.
In a statement, Dave Davis, President and GM at WABC, says, “All of us in the Channel 7 family are in shock over her sudden death, Our attention is now focused on helping her husband and two children through this difficult time.”
After finishing her morning shift covering a Queens house fire, Colagrossi collapsed in the news van and was rushed to the hospital. Unable to regain consciousness, she died Friday morning.
Chalk up another ratings bonanza for WABC-TV. From morning to night, Channel 7 was the May sweeps leader of the pack. The station outdistanced the competition, either using households as the measuring stick, the key demo adults 25 to 54, or both.
The signature broadcast, Eyewitness News at 11 p.m. with Bill Ritter, Sade Baderwina, Lee Goldberg and Rob Powers, held a 44 percent advantage over the number two among households. WABC increased its lead to 47 percent with the key demo.
The gap was even more pronounced at 6 p.m. when the Ritter, Liz Cho, Goldberg and Powers team obliterated the competition. It was a 57 percent bulge in the households indicator. Channel 7 was equally strong in the key demo, registering better results than any two others newscasts combined.
Although not sustaining it for the entire month, WNBC did come out on top for a few Chuck Scarborough/Sibila Vargas 11 p.m. broadcasts. It was impressive considering where Channel 4 had been in the last few years. Continue reading →
The holiday season isn’t over until we hand out the Barmash Awards. Our 4th annual list highlights the best TV news personalities of 2013 in New York.
The category of Best Anchor–a competitive group, to be sure. But our choice is WABC/Channel 7’s Bill Ritter. He is the most confident and has the best chemistry with his co-anchors.
Honorable Mention: WNBC’s David Ushery and WCBS’s Cindy Hsu. We didn’t make a separate anchor category for the weekenders. But Ushery and Hsu are no “second-class citizens,” holding their own with their weekday brethren.
Ushery and Hsu have many years of anchoring experience, and both have been passed over for a larger presence during the week. Ushery, though, has been a main fill-in for venerable Chuck Scarborough. Plus, this election season, he was the host of WNBC’s debate programming.
Despite being shut out of this year’s citywide debates by the Campaign Finance Board, WABC-TV has taken matters into its own hands.
Channel 7 will host the first debate in the Democratic battle for New York City Comptroller. Anchor Bill Ritter leads the debate against Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former governor Eliot Spitzer. The debate, at the WABC studios, will stream live Friday, August 9 at 10 a.m. It will air on WABC, Sunday, August 11 at 11 a.m.
As part of the debate doubleheader, Channel 7 gathers the Republican candidates for New York City mayor August 11 at noon.
“WABC-TV and Eyewitness News are proud to continue our tradition of providing viewers with the most comprehensive information necessary to make a thoughtful and confident decision when they enter the voting booth,” said Dave Davis, president and general manager of WABC-TV.
WABC already broadcast a Democratic primary debate in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race last weekend.
Channel 7 is a co-sponsor of the debates along with Noticias 41 Univision, the Daily News, and the League of Women Voters of the City of New York.
Veteran Channel 7 reporter Jeff Pegues is moving onto a network platform. The personable broadcast journalist is joining CBS News as a Washington DC based reporter.
Pegues started at WABC in December 2003, and quickly rose to cover some of the biggest stories for the station.
Arguably, the Emmy Award winner’s most memorable newsgathering took place last October during Superstorm Sandy. Viewers will recall Pegues being on the scene of the harrowing Breezy Point fire as residents attempted to escape.
“It’s been an incredible 10 years,” Pegues told Tuned In exclusively. “Working for Channel 7 is like playing for the Yankees. It’s a class, top-notch organization.”
During that decade in “pinstripes” on camera, he was a regular nighttime reporter. The 11 p.m. newscast would feature lead anchor Bill Ritter traditionally throwing it to a live Pegues with his “Jeffrey” moniker.
Tuned In has obtained the email that news director Camille Edwards sent to employees Friday.
“Sometimes life is bittersweet. This is one of those moments,” Edwards wrote.
We’ve analyzed and dissected a one-day sampling from the May sweeps. Before the stations put a spin on the winners, here’s our ratings breakdown.
WNBC can claim victory during early mornings (4:30 to 7) among the pivotal adults 25 to 54 demographic. It’s a partial win for Channel 4, which got overtaken by perennial ratings champ WABC in the 6 a.m. hour.
It was a poor May for WCBS in the a.m., the first sweeps period for Channel 2 since the Rob Morrison resignation in late February. Now with Chris Wragge joining Mary Calvi, the station settled into a dismal fourth place behind WNYW’s Good Day Wake Up in the adults 25-54 demo.
The news is only slightly better for WCBS when using the household ratings. Channel 2 managed a third-place finish, eeking out WNYW. But it’s all about WABC—Eyewitness News This Morning won the daypart, and in doing so almost doubled its closest competitor (WNBC) in the 6 a.m. hour.
WPIX, in its first sweeps under the direction of Mark Effron, showed no improvement. The early edition of the PIX Morning News had an abysmal effort in the household and 25-54 demo. Channel 11 gets a few more viewers for the 7-9 a.m. block, but remained entrenched in fifth, and more important, locked behind rival WNYW using all measuring sticks.