Sam Champion Leaves WABC
WABC_Sam_Champion_2006.jpgLongtime channel 7 weather presenter Sam Champion left the station last week to work full time for ABC News where he has been the morning weather presenter for Good Morning America since September. Champion, who is not a meteorologist, originally joined WABC to be an anchor, but was quickly shuffled into weather presenting.

After taking the Good Morning America weather presenter spot, Champion’s duties were reduced to the 5 p.m. newscast with Lee Goldberg stepping in as an interim and later permanent replacement. Goldberg, a meteorologist and American Meteorological Society Television Seal holder, has now taken over the 5 p.m. slot with Champion’s departure.

The situation with Champion is reminiscent of what occurred with Al Roker, who pulled double duty for a few years on NBC’s Today and WNBC’s Live at Five..However, unlike Champion, Roker is a meteorologist and holds an American Meteorological Society Television Seal.

The CBS Recycling Program
KYW and WCBSRemember a few weeks ago when WCBS aired what they claimed was a “world exclusive” November sweeps interview with Jim McGreevey’s sexual harassment accuser Golan Cipel? Well eight days later, it appeared on KYW, the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia, who claimed it was an “exclusive” interview. Our sister-ist Phillyist took note of this last Wednesday citing us about the interview and saying “CBS 3 did something quite lazy for last night’s sweeps story – borrowing it from what they said was their ‘New York sister station WCBS.’

The KYW version of the interview is almost identical to the WCBS version, with each station using their own lower third graphics. Both have Jim Rosenfield, but the KYW piece has former WABC anchor and Access Hollywood host Larry Mendte introducing it by saying, "And Now and interview you will see only on CBS 3." Apparently nobody was supposed to find out that it was on WCBS the week before.

Another bit of weirdness was when Rosenfield, on tape in channel 2’s studio, ended the report, “I'm Jim Rosenfield for CBS 3 Eyewitness News.” It was probably the first time anyone at WCBS ever said they were reporting for Eyewitness News, since WABC has been the New York home for Eyewitness News since 1968.

Both versions of the interview are available on the websites of WCBS and KYW for comparison.

The two stations do have close ties and the current general manager of WCBS Peter Dunn came from KYW, but it does seem comical to call something exclusive if you are going to share it with another station or if it came from another station. Score one for corporate synergy.

Channel 7 is Number One
According to the November sweeps Nielsen ratings for local news, WABC remains in its first place position, with WNBC second. In the morning news race, channel 7 leads with channel 4 being a tenth of a point back in basically a statistical dead heat. WCBS finishes last in the 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. slot behind WNYW and WPIX.

Their respective network morning shows - Good Morning America .and Today are tied for first. The CBS Early Show lags behind the locally produced Good Day New York on Fox 5 and the CW 11 Morning News. Of the two noon newscasts, WABC gets over one and a half times more viewers than WCBS.

The early evening newscasts have WABC leading, followed by WNBC, WCBS and, WNYW. However, things are quite a different story at 11 p.m. with WABC and WNBC tying for and 11 share with only four tenths of a point between them. WCBS lags only four tenths of a point and one share behind making CBS 2’s late newscast the most competitive of all their weeknight news broadcasts.

There is no word on the 10 PM news race yet.

It should be remembered that the ratings are really a poll and are not scientific. Nielsen uses proprietary methods for calculating the information and does not publicly release things you would find in political polls, such as the margin of error.

CBS’ 3 Lbs. Brain Dead
CBS has mercifully pulled the plug on the brain surgery drama 3 Lbs. after just three airings. The show was the replacement for the equally ratings anemic Smith. The military action show, The Unit will be plugged into the wound in the CBS schedule to try to stop the bleeding.

Decorated News
WNBC over the weekend decorated their set with poinsettias for the holidays. They join WCBS who decorated their set early last week