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“Idol” Thrown for Another Local Loss

Tom Brady

Tom Brady


This doesn’t appear to be the lucky season of “American Idol.”

The New York Giants’ 20-17 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game pushed a special Sunday edition of “Idol” back to 11 p.m. Eastern time.

That negated the promotional boost “Idol” was expected to get from the football lead-in in a season that already has shown steep local and national ratings decline.

Sure enough, the majority of WUTV viewers fled Sunday after the post-game coverage. The Giants win averaged a 31.9 rating on Channel 29. It had a 36.7 rating in the last 15 minutes when the Giants kicked the winning field goal. Two-thirds of those viewers left “Idol.” It started out with a 12.5 rating and gradually lost its audience. It averaged a 9.3 rating on Channel 29 for the hour, finishing with an 7.9 in the last 15 minutes when many people go to bed.

New England’s win over Baltimore had a 31.5 rating on Channel 4. While the Buffalo ratings for the games was higher than the national average, the 2011 conference title games had higher ratings here. Pittsburgh’s win over the New York Jets had a 35.7 rating on Channel 4 and Green Bay’s win over Chicago had a 34.4 on Channel 29.

Still, the New England-New York Giant Super Bowl rematch featuring top quarterbacks Eli Manning and Tom Brady should be a big local and national draw, with a rating as high as 50 certainly possible here. After all, WNYers hate the Pats and many displaced New Yorkers who live here still love the Giants.

NBC probably would hope for a Super Bowl that goes into overtime, but that won’t help its karaoke show, “The Voice.” Its new season is slated to premiere after the game. If the game goes long, “The Voice” will experience the same fate as “Idol” did Sunday.

If you want to catch up with what former Channel 4 anchors and reporters Lisa Flynn, Michele McClintick and Ellen Maxwell are up to, pick up a copy of Buffalo Spree magazine. My piece on their lives after TV and their views of TV news appear in the February issue.

That was a nice sympathetic and heartwarming piece on 97 Rock’s Larry Norton in the Buffalo News. The paper reported he has been doing his morning show from Florida for more than three years. Of course, stilltalkintv reported that five months ago and noted the station didn’t want to refer to his whereabouts too often. The News story was a PR person’s dream, which sympathetically noted that Norton first moved there to take care of his father, Wallace Norton. His father died in November, 2010.

That begs the question left unanswered in the story. His dad died more than a year ago. Why hasn’t  Norton come back to Buffalo full-time since then to do his show?

Norton isn’t the first radio personality to work from Florida. Former WGR sports talk show host Chuck Dickerson bashed the Bills regularly from Florida.

When I worked at newspaper, I used to think that many letters to the editors demanded an answer. That was the case this Sunday when a reader asked why DISH customers don’t get the same support as TWC subscribers who have lost Sabre games due to a contract battle with rights-holder MSG. That’s easy. DISH has a fraction of the subscribers that TWC has in WNY and most sports fans have a satellite preference for DirecTV .




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8 responses to "“Idol” Thrown for Another Local Loss"

  1. Dave says:

    Larry Norton is a jackass. I had the displeasure of knowing him as a radio intern for Rich Communications during the mid-1990s. Now Cindy Chan and Carl Russo, two of the nicest, funniest, down-to-earth people you’d ever want to meet. Thoroughly enjoyed knowing them.

  2. fourmer says:

    Who cares where he sends his show from? Larry has had a great program for years along with those who work with him. Slick is the one who needs to go…he needs a talk show someplace where he can spew his left crap and take his following….sick of trying to listen to music and his political crap at the same time!

  3. Doug says:

    Bring back Chuck Dickerson from Florida! At least he knew football, unlike Mike Schoppe.

    • Tom says:

      Chuck Dickerson and Art Wander- 2 of the best sports talk hosts this area has ever seen. I’ve had a chance to meet both of them as well and they truly are some of the nicest you will see.

    • Gman says:

      All we ever hear on WGR, is SCHOOP & the DOPE. BRING back Artie Baby Boo Boo.

  4. Tina says:

    Thanks for the Tom Brady pic….Go Patriots!

  5. Dave says:

    Art Wander was not a great sports talk show host. He benefited from having Bob Gaughan as his producer. Bob is a walking Sports Encyclopedia. He used to feed Art so much information through the headphones, it was ridiculous. Art was a guy who knew how to talk, that’s about it. And he was full of himself, and as arrogant as could be. He’d walk through and just put his hand in your food and take something without asking. A real jerk.

    Chuck Dickerson I really enjoyed working with. Off air, he was a great guy, even bought me dinner a couple of times after I helped him with some things on the computer. A great story teller, and I thought a good person to work with. I heard some things later on, that may or may not be true, but it’s for the best that he’s not on the air, I suppose, if they are.

  6. Val James says:

    Norton is milking this and taking advantage of low IQ humor. It is a sad state that there is a demand for this show and someone benefits from it.

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