T Dog’s Media Notepad: Bears-Packers score in ratings

chicagogreenbayBears surprise; ABC 7 dominates November ratings; another new game show planned; Tom Joyner’s future

On paper, it looked like another game against the Packers where the Bears would get blown out and the ratings would take a hit, given what happened last year.

Turns out it wasn’t the case.

Led by Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears stunned their Green Bay rivals on Thanksgiving night with a 17-13 win – on a night when Brett Favre’s number was retired at Lambeau.

The special Turkey Night game turned out to be a big draw for NBC – Bears-Packers drew 28 million viewers Thursday night, the most-watched Thanksgiving night game ever and the second most-watched NBC primetime game ever, up 21 percent from last year’s game (Seahawks-49ers). In households, the game drew a household overnight rating of 14.6/29, up 17 percent from last year’s game. Ratings peaked at 27.8 million during Favre’s retirement ceremony.

In Chicago, the Bears game drew a 29.8/57 for NBC-owned WMAQ, while Milwaukee’s WTMJ drew a whopping 44.1/72. The Chicago rating was up 13 percent from last year’s Bears-Packers game from Lambeau, a Sunday Night Football also from NBC when the Bears were thrashed by the cheeseheads.

All in all, it was a satisfying result if you were a Bears fan.

Not to be done however, was another Thanksgiving Day game – a matchup earlier in the day between the undefeated Carolina Panthers and Dallas cowboys drew even more viewers – 32.5 million of them.

ABC 7November sweeps ratings are in for Chicago’s news stations, and ABC-owned WLS-TV continued its dominance in early fringe and prime access time slots, while WGN-TV received mixed rating results. According to Robert Feder’s website, WLS-TV won at 4, 5, and 6 p.m, but split with WMAQ at 10 – WLS was dominant in households, but fell slightly behind WMAQ at 10 in the 25-54 demo. WBBM came in third in both categories, and WGN brought up the rear.

But the news wasn’t all bad for WGN – its morning newscasts finished first in every time period – scoring higher ratings at 6 a.m. than most other newscasts in the Chicago area.

According to another website, WLS-TV’s 7 p.m. newscast on WCIU finished seventh in its time period, even behind My Network TV’s drama repeats.

Despite a huge news month locally and nationally – the murder of Tyshawnn Lee, the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video, and the attacks in Paris among others, ratings for Chicago’s news didn’t exactly move upward – WLS-TV’s and WBBM-TV’s ratings at 10 p.m. were down from last year for example. It proves more people are getting their news from other sources, particularly online. In fact, local news was criticized by some for not spending enough time reporting on the Paris attacks, a huge international story.

Up north of the border (the state line), Milwaukee ABC affiliate WISN-TV was poised to sweep its news competition with the exception of mornings, where Fox affiliate WITI was ahead. Another ABC affiliate (KSAT in San Antonio) also kept its news dominance, as did NBC affiliate KUSA in Denver.

fullSo I guess the game show of the future is one set at a local Arby’s with the production quality matching the food: several Fox-owned stations are planning to test a new game show from the producers of TMZ called South of Wilshire, a low-budget game show set in a restaurant in (yes, you read that right) in the Crenshaw district in Los Angeles where contestants try to identify celebrity in videos shot in areas shot around South Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

No word if they’ll use the A/V team from a nearby high school to produce the show.

Fox plans to test Wilshire on several of its -owned stations, including those in New York and Los Angeles, although a list wasn’t made available. Judging by the photo above, this even makes game shows on GSN look like multi-million dollar productions by comparison. Holy moly.

TMZ and its sister show TMZ Live already claim several hours of programming daily on Fox-owned stations, including five whopping hours a day over both WFLD and WPWR here – much of it repeats of same or previous-day episodes. Not exactly a great investment.

logoIs Tom Joyner on the way out? A report on a foreign website (of all places) is claiming the host of The Tom Joyner Morning Show is being pushed into early retirement at the end of 2016, when President Obama’s second term is up.

Beginning in January, Russ Parr – who has his own syndicated morning radio show – is slated to take over Joyner’s slots in Radio One’s Urban AC stations in Baltimore (WWIN-FM) and Washington D.C. (WMMJ-FM) in a effort for each station to skew younger. Both stations are part of the DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) area and branded as “Majic”.

Tuesday afternoon, Reach Media released a statement denying the rumors, stating Joyner is under contract through the end of 2017. Reach Media however, didn’t confirm or deny reports Parr would replace 65-year old Joyner on Radio One’s DMV stations. Joyner founded Reach Media in 2003 to distribute his show, but sold a stake to Radio One a year later, who increased it to 80 percent in 2012.

Indeed its been a rough couple of years for Joyner’s show. In 2009, Joyner lost his strongest affiliate here when top rated WVAZ-FM dropped his show for Steve Harvey’s, being regulated to low-rated and signal-challenged WSRB (Soul 106.3 FM). Last year, Joyner lost his affiliate in his home base of Dallas, when Radio One flipped the station from Urban AC to Classic Hip-Hop. On-air personnel have also exited the last few years, notably Sheryl Underwood, who’s now with CBS’ The Talk. Joyner’s program still draws millions of listeners a day despite an affiliate count that has dropped by a third since its peak in the early 2000’s.

Joyner, referred to as “The Fly Jock” (spending eight years commuting back and forth from Chicago’s WGCI-FM and Dallas’ KKDA-FM daily from 1985 to 1993), launched The Tom Joyner Morning Show in 1994.

Reach Media has noted it plans to be in business with Joyner on-air and off even beyond the 2017 expiration date.