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Oprah’s Enhances Reputation As Interviewer

Oprah Winfrey didn’t do Lance Armstrong any favors by separating her exclusive interview with the disgraced cyclist in two parts — Thursday and Friday.

It surely helped OWN – the Oprah Winfrey Network – sell more commercials.

But one of the major criticisms of Armstrong after Stage One of the interview Thursday – that he was unemotional – may have been softened if the entire interview had run on one night.

Oprah and Lance, Part 2

Oprah and Lance, Part 2















That’s because Armstrong looked more human in Friday’s installment, which most likely had fewer viewers than Part One.

Armstrong got very emotional discussing how he had to tell his son to stop defending his father over doping and performance enhancing drug allegations that we now know were always true.

I repeat what I said in Friday’s blog – we know what Armstrong placed in his body but we may never what is in his heart.

Winfrey asked just about every question that I suggested in Friday’s blog needed to be asked.

She asked if doctors believed what Armstrong did to his body contributed in any way to his cancer. Armstrong said no, though other reports have suggested otherwise.

She asked if he was therapy. Armstrong said he was and that he is the kind of person who never should stop going.

And she asked how his behavior affected his loved ones and his family. He addressed how it affected his children, his ex-wife and other people close to him.

The only question on my list that Winfrey didn’t ask is whether Armstrong faces any possible legal problems now because of his confessions or if he is in clear because of the statute of limitations.

But I guess I couldn’t expect that to be asked.

All in all, Winfrey did an outstanding job that should add to her reputation.

As far as Armstrong’s reputation, it is hard to see how the interview helped him.

Do you need to hear more from Jim Rome, who has a radio show carried by WGR, a show on cable’s CBS Sports Network and a show on pay-cable’s Showtime?

Didn’t think so. But on CBS’ pregame show before Sunday’s 6:30 p.m. AFC title game between New England and Baltimore on Channel 4, Rome is going to give his “unique perspective” on the game, according to a CBS Sports release.

With the weather in WNY expected to be frightful Sunday, local ratings for the AFC title game on Channel 4 and the NFC title game on Channel 29 should be higher than the predicted snow in some areas.

New England’s win over Houston Sunday was the highest-rated game locally last weekend with a 27.2 rating on Channel 4. Atlanta’s win over Seattle last Sunday had a 25.1 rating on WUTV. Baltimore’s overtime win Saturday over Denver had a 25.0 rating on Channel 4 and severely cut into the rating for San Francisco’s win over Green Bay. It had an 18.1 rating on WUTV.

To put the ratings in perspective, most prime time network programs gets ratings in the single-digits in WNY. Bills regular season games on Sundays generally get in the range of the high 20s to the low to mid-30s.

With ratings like last Sunday’s, the title games on Sunday should come close to a 30 rating.

It will be interesting to see if the NFL playoff ratings will be higher locally than the ratings for the long-awaited Buffalo Sabres’ season opener with Philadelphia on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate. The 12:30 p.m. start time means the hockey game should be over at around 3 p.m., when the San Francisco-Atlanta game starts on Channel 29.

Generally, games that start later in the afternoon get higher ratings. The Sabres have local interest on their side, but it is only a regular season game and the NFL has the advantages of a later start time and Super Bowl berths on the line.

Sabre playoff games on NBC can get ratings in the 30s, but a regular season rating close to 20 would be impressive for the opener.


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