It’s another example of the troubling state of local news.
In an effort to promote the second season of Fox’s successful drama, Empire, based on the music industry, WNYW is unthinkably giving away its last 30 minutes following each episode. Anchors Steve Lacy and Dari Alexander host the After Empire party, complete with hip-hop themed performances and DJs spinning on the turntables. Even this week, just 24 hours after a cop was gunned down, wasn’t enough to alter their programming, although hosting duties went to entertainment reporter Simone Boyce.
Yes, a station’s late newscast (still has the Fox 5 graphic in the corner with time and temperature) airing live music. Ever heard of that one?
This makes sense on the morning newscast Good Day New York, especially in the lighter 9 a.m. hour where performers regularly take the stage.
There’s a respite from the turmoil at WPIX. In the all-important July sweeps period, WPIX claims victory in the crowded 5 p.m. race against rival WNYW/Channel 5 and WNBC. Tuned In would get spin from the other stations, but PIX typically is the only station to put such emphasis on the summertime, a time when viewership is drastically altered by vacations.
Regardless. when your management is getting scrutinized on a regular basis, any positive blip in the ratings is solid enough.
Just as John Muller returns to Channel 11, the early evening newscast he co-anchors with Tamsen Fadal makes another strong showing. WPIX is also proud of beating Fox 5 News at 5, anchored by Steve Lacy and Dari Alexander, in several key demos. They say it’s the first time outperforming the Fox O&O in three years, Adults 25-54, Women 25-54, and Adults 18-49. It also ended a three-year drought for WPIX against the folks at 30 Rock in the key demo: Adults 25-54.
The only thing worse than declaring an off-season victory is comparing results from last summer. However, the PIX Morning News was up 20 percent from last July in the Adults 25-54 groups. Summer or not, this marks the seventh consecutive sweep win for Channel 11 opposite CBS This Morning.
And in case you’re wondering, the PIX News at 10 made a 33 percent leap compared to July 2013. That stat is somewhat misleading since the station was still using one anchor. Scott Stanford didn’t join Fadal until September.
The next big question for WPIX is how will they fare in the November sweeps?
The latest musical chairs in the WNYW anchor desk is set to debut June 5. The summer schedule takes favorite Ernie Anastos to an even more reduced workload, TVSpy reports.
Anastos swaps face time with lead anchor Steve Lacy (left), meaning a valuable 30 minutes less per night for the veteran Anastos. Lacy moves to the 5 p.m. and remains on the 10 p.m., co-anchoring both newscasts with Dari Alexander. Anastos slips into the solo half hour 6 p.m. report.
Anastos, a fixture as a top anchor in New York for more than three decades, was bounced from the high profile 10 p.m. broadcast in the summer of 2012.
In addition, Channel 5 is planning to add hourly weekend news updates from 9 a.m. to noon.
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.
Did the latest round of musical anchor chairs prove successful for WNYW?
Now that Steve Lacy has been the station’s lead anchor for three months, Tuned In explores if the changeover worked.
Just to get readers caught up, Lacy assumed the anchor duties at 6 and 10 p.m. on January 25, while the Greg Kelly nighttime experiment ended abruptly seven months after it started. Kelly is back with his Good Day cohort Rosanna Scotto, while Lacy is now teamed with Dari Alexander for the Channel 5 late newscast.
“[Lacy] was really surprised that he got brought to nights,” a source close to the situation tells Tuned In.
Because of good rapport with former Good Day Wake Up/First Edition co-anchor Juliet Huddy, the source says it was a “bittersweet” move from mornings.
“But, overall it’s worked out,” the source says, “because he’s a solid guy.”
Whenever Lacy broadcasts, the source says, he gets along well with all colleagues.
“He’s known as somebody who is easy to work with.”