The local winner on Election Night in Western New York wasn’t too close to call.
It was Channel 2 News in a landslide.
It even won decisively at 11 p.m., when it was the beneficiary of the strong lead-in from the NBC News team headed by anchor Brian Williams. Channel 2 News undoubtedly wishes that NBC’s prime time entertainment programs supplied it a similar lead-in at 11 p.m. weekdays, one of the only two places that Channel 4 still dominates locally.
I don’t want to bore you with too many numbers after you endured the counting of millions of votes Tuesday, but it is a necessary evil to a degree.
Let’s just say that Channel 2 and NBC had strong double-digit ratings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Night, and those figures are double what many NBC prime time programs receive. Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate, hit double digits at 6 p.m. Channel 7 remained a poor third with much higher numbers than usual.
From 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. when the broadcast and cable networks concentrated on the presidential race and other big national races, NBC was tops here on Channel 2 with an impressive 11.2 rating.
The second-place finisher here may surprise some – it was Fox News on cable. Yes, it even beat Channel 4’s network (CBS) and Channel 7’s network (ABC). That confirms what we already knew: President Obama won Erie County decisively but portions of this area are much more to the right than most of New York State and there are many fans of right wing cable news and right wing talk radio (WBEN). (Of course, some of my blog readers represent that remark.)
Fox News also was the most unintentionally entertaining, when analyst Karl Rove forced anchor Megyn Kelly to take a long walk and seek out the guys who projected that President Obama the winner of Ohio and therefore the presidency. They stood firm. “Saturday Night Live” should have a field day with that walk.
Fox News ((7.5) decisively beat CBS (5.2) and ABC (4.3) here from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. CNN, which was my go to channel, was fifth here with a 3.9 and left-wing MSNBC sixth (2.7). PBS (WNED-TV here averaged less than a 1.0 rating.
Nationally, NBC was first, ABC second and CBS third in the network competition and CNN squeaked by Fox News in the cable competition.
There is one other interesting thing to note about Fox News. Rove may have forced many viewers to stay up an extra 90 minutes before Romney would give his gracious concession speech after 1 a.m., but most Fox viewers didn’t stay around to watch President Obama’s inspiring victory speech at around 1:45 a.m.
The results after midnight actually further illustrate that to the victor goes the spoils and that viewers head to the channel that loves their guy. After midnight, MSNBC decisively defeated Fox News here. By the time President Obama spoke, MSNBC tripled Fox’s rating. Fox didn’t even hit a 1 rating when the President spoke, an indication the great majority of its viewers didn’t want to hear what he had to say. CNN, which had a significant lead-in advantage over MSNBC, actually was No. 1 after midnight and had a rating here four times higher than Fox News when the President spoke.