In just two weeks, Channel 4’s Emily Guggenmos is making a case to remain the co-anchor of the station’s early morning program “Wake Up!”
Channel 4 has won every day over Channel 2’s “Daybreak” at 6 a.m. except for July 4th (which doesn’t count in the sweeps) and July 11th in the first two weeks of the sweeps since the newcomer has moved into Victoria Hong’s seat.
Halfway through the July ratings period – which is the least important of the four during the year – “Wake Up” with Joe Arena and Guggenmos is ahead of “Daybreak,” which is co-anchored by John Beard and Jodi Johnston and has recently been No. 1 in the time slot.
Channel 4 has averaged a 4.9 rating at 6 a.m., up from a 4.4 a year ago. Channel 2 is averaged a 4.6 rating, down from a leading 5.0 a year ago. Channel 7 remains deep in third place with a 2.0 rating, down from a 2.3 a year ago.
Of course, viewing patterns in the summer differ from those in the winter. Channel 4’s lead could just mean viewers are sampling the program again after an anchor change. However, ratings often go down after anchor changes.
Channel 4 is taking an early ratings hit at noon, where Hong used to split anchor duties with Arena. The station is still No. 1 with a 6.4 rating to Channel 7’s 4.6. A year ago, Channel 4’s lead was 8.1-4.4 but its noon viewership has been slipping for a while.
The rest of the figures for the first two weeks are mostly in line with recent results – with Channel 2 winning at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 ahead at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and Channel 7 deep in third place.
At 5 p.m., Channel 7 hit an average of 2.7, down from an already low average of 3.4 a year ago. In other words, its rivals get a bigger audience at 6 a.m. than Channel 7 gets at 5 p.m.
At 10 p.m., Channel 4 and Channel 2 are practically right where they were a year ago before Diana Fairbanks took over as the anchor of Channel 4’s newscast on WNLO and Melissa Holmes went over to anchor Channel 2’s 10 p.m. newscast on WNYO.
Channel 2′s digital channel, which also is carried on Channel 114 on Time Warner Cable, is carrying Antenna TV’s 21-hour salute to the late Ernest Borgnine, who starred in the classic TV series “McHale’s Navy.”
The suggestions by Congressman Brian Higgins that the Buffalo Bills would benefit by accepting the new 85 percent blackout rule because more people could see the team’s stadium advertising and there would be more opportunity to grow the fan base by televising the games seemed like quite a stretch even before the Bills announced they weren’t going to accept the new policy.
As a small market team, the Bills probably don’t get that much money in stadium advertising to lose anyway. And with all the road games being televised, several home games sold out annually in time to be televised and all the free publicity the team gets on TV and in print, carrying a few more games a season is unlikely to grow the fan base much if at all.
It was a tough call for the Bills, who told the Buffalo News today that they weren’t going to accept the new policy. It would have been an upset if they opted to accept the rule. They would have been wise to have explained away Higgins’ suggestions.
As I’ve written before, the initial suggestion in early stories that the policy would help small market teams like the Bills was misguided. The rule really hurts small market teams, who don’t have the benefit of selling games out via season tickets as many large market teams do. In my view, the Bills made the right safer call. It may anger some fans and columnists in the short term, but in the long run it could prevent declining ticket sales that would threaten the ability of the franchise to stay here for seasons to come.