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Ch.2, NBC Big Winners Here; Fox News Also Scores

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.

Megyn Kelly

Karl Rove

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.


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11 responses to "Ch.2, NBC Big Winners Here; Fox News Also Scores"

  1. Rob says:

    Some post-election thoughts while wondering what happened to Lucian Greco

    NBC was our go-to station during the election since they did seem to have a deep bench. In hindsight, I wished we had ABC on since Diane Sawyer seemed to have had a few gin and tonics prior to air (or so it appeared). That sideshow alone would have been worth the watch.

    I disagree that people here are more conservative therefore they watched Fox News. I think most tuned in to see how they were reacting to an Obama win and Rove didn’t disappoint. We did that here after the first debate by turning on MSNBC and watching Maddow and Matthews have a stroke on the air.

    Finally, thanks Alan for the blog this election season. It was a good read getting your perspective on the broadcasters during this pivotal election. The responders as well had good insight. Now what??

    • Tina says:

      Rob, you hit the nail on the head as to why many of us tuned into Fox. I know that is why i did and i was just in time to see Karl Roves meltdown and Megyn’s long walk of shame and embarrassment down the hallway to denial.

    • alanp says:

      Thanks Rob. What’s next? Reports on TV, local and national.

  2. Ian says:

    I, too, watched NBC during Election Night.Williams, Todd, Brokaw, et al are the best in the business. I did try CBS but the TWC’s signal was not so great (lots of cutting in and out).
    Kudos to Megyn Kelly for standing up to Rove. She’s about as independent a voice as you’re gonna get at FNC.
    I tried to watch CNN…I just don’t understand how anybody can stand more than 5 minutes of Wolf Blitzer.
    Alan, what’s your opinion of Diane Sawyer’s performance on Election Night: drunk or fatigued?

    • It wasn’t just TWC, my DirecTv signal from CBS was terrible as well election night. It prompted me to switch around and based on the really good coverage could not believe I decided to stay at Fox News. I am NOT a Fox News watcher, I’m not a fan of cable news in general. I listed to NPR and watch the CBS Morning Show and Nightly news. Fox’s coverage was top notch. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it was Fair and Balanced (I know…really). They had great explanations as to what was going on, weren’t beating the drum on one side more than the other ,except Rove, and that was entertaining. The rest of the team could not get themselves moved away from him quickly enough. It sure beat that guy on CNN, rapid fire clicking on the map and pulling up the counties. He was making my head spin. It was good info, but so much, so fast there was no way to digest what he was saying.

    • Tina says:

      I love Blitzer and besides he is a local guy so that helps. I thought John King was quite good at explaining everything and I agree with you about Chuck Todd, I have a whole new appreciation for him. As you can see i was channel surfing a lot!

  3. Alan,

    Diane Sawyer sure sounded and acted drunk.

    Interesting that ABC TV has pulled all the video of her election night performance.

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