Katie Couric’s move into the syndicated talk show world next fall has set in motion a series of changes that may find it briefly difficult for local viewers to initially find their favorite daytime shows.
Channel 7 has grabbed the rights to the new show, “Katie,” that Couric is doing as part of her Disney-ABC deal and is expected to air it at 4 p.m. weekdays as the 5 p.m. news lead-in.
It looks like the best potential news lead-in that Channel 7 has had since it foolishly let the rights to Oprah Winfrey”s show move to Channel 4 decades ago. After all, Couric’s show is being designed to woo Winfrey fans who wish she hadn’t retired her show.
The Couric move means the current 4 p.m. resident at Channel 7 — “The Doctors” – is about to get a new home. It is moving to Channel 2, which is expected to carry it at 2 p.m.
The current 2 p.m. resident at Channel 2 – “Rachael Ray” – is available and is moving to either Channel 4 or its sister station Channel 23.
Channel 4 will have a morning opening because “The 700 Club” is moving this summer from Channel 4 to WUTV, which is replacing paid programming with that paid program. WUTV plans to carry “The 700 Club” at 9 a.m. starting in June.
Channel 7 also has gained the rights to the new Ricki Lake talker, which it could air either in the morning or in the afternoon. It also carried Lake’s previous talk show.
The recently-arrived demographics from the February sweeps have given Channel 2 even more good ratings news.
The NBC affiliate’s advantages among viewers age 25-54 and age 18-49 over Channel 4 improve from its household advantages in almost all news time periods that it won. The age 25-54 demographic is key to local advertisers, and the age 18-49 is demo more important to national advertisers.
Channel 2 wins in households in all areas where it competes directly with Channel 4 except in the 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, where Channel 4 dominates in household viewership. However, Channel 2 is within a half point at that hour in viewers age 25-54 and actually wins by a tenth of a point among viewers 18 through 49 at that hour.
The demographics are important because advertisers make most of their buying decisions based on them. And they also tend to reveal viewership trends.
The unseasonable warm March weather in Western New York didn’t make any national news reports that I saw about the unseasonable national weather. However, Monday night’s “NBC News with Brian Williams” did tell viewers that the return of the cold or normal March weather in Buffalo led to “a warning of a widespread hard freeze.” Somehow, I doubt that Buffalo is the only area with that potential problem.
In case fans of the ABC soaps that were canceled wondered, the demos for the new ABC afternoon talk shows “The Chew” and “The Revolution” are down about 80 percent locally from a year ago when the soaps ran. Still, don’t expect ABC to immediately reconsider dropping the cheaper to produce talk shows.