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Palin Rejected By WNY Viewers


The big matchup of the week in morning TV supposedly was former CBS News anchor Katie Couric versus former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Katie Couric (with Fred Thompson)

Katie Couric: Not a Game Changer for "GMA" Here

And the ratings winner in Western New York was?

Well, neither was much of a game changer here. However, Palin was the celebrity host who was more rejected here and Couric did give Channel 7 a little boost.

Couric’s stint as the co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America” didn’t hurt her own old program, NBC’s “Today,” much on Monday through Wednesday here. “GMA” remained deep in second place here, primarily because Channel 7 is a weak ABC affiliate. That is especially true in the morning.

“Today” won by 2 or more ratings points on Monday and Wednesday here and was only threatened by “GMA” on Tuesday morning. That’s when Palin made a guest appearance on NBC’s morning show and had a big role at the 8 a.m. hour.

On Tuesday, “Today” on Channel 2 with Palin only beat “GMA” on Channel 7 by a margin of 5.2-4.7. The next morning “GMA” lost a point here. That was the day it beat “Today” nationally. “Today” gained half a point Wednesday to regain a 2 point lead. The “GMA” loss Wednesday here and the “Today” gain Wednesday here suggest Palin was a big turnoff for WNY viewers.

“GMA” averaged a little better on Channel 7 from Monday through Wednesday (4.4) with Couric as the co-host than it did during the February sweeps, when it averaged a 4.2 rating. “Today” averaged a 6.3 rating here in February, more than a point higher than it did the morning Palin was a guest. ”Today” averaged a 5.9 from Monday and Wednesday, four-tenths of a point lower than it did in February. If you took Palin’s day away, “Today” was flat here from its February figure.

Nationally, “Today” had about 5.5 million viewers the day Palin appeared to 5.1 million for “GMA” on the same morning when Couric was the co-host.

Here are some other interesting ratings notes this week that say a lot about WNY viewing patterns.

Kentucky’s Title Win Hits Double Digits: Kentucky’s NCAA men’s championship win over Kansas Monday night had a 10.0 rating on Channel 4. That is decent by WNY basketball standards but not in the ballpark of the 12.3 fast national rating that CBS received. Kentucky’s semifinal win over Louisville Saturday had a 7.8 rating, while Kansas’ win over Ohio State had a 6.1 rating.

Idol” Rebounds Some: A performance of “American Idol” this week hit a 9.7 rating, stopping a ratings slide on WUTV that saw a recent installment slip to a 6.8. “Idol” is way down in viewership locally this season, but is improving as the final nears. At least it beat NBC’s “The Voice” (8.3) this week.

Channel 4 Making 6 p.m. Comeback: Channel 4, which took a big hit from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays during the February sweeps, won Monday and Tuesday at that hour over Channel 2. But on Wednesday, Channel 2’s margin of victory was greater than Channel 4’s combined margin of victory on the first two days of the week. Considering all the departures and pending departures at Channel 4, the tightness of the race should be considered good news for the station. However, Channel 2 won the demographics decisively in February and that’s usually a reliable measure of things to come.


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2 responses to "Palin Rejected By WNY Viewers"

  1. Sarah says:

    Sarah Palin’s voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me…and I’m not even talking about content yet.

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