KSTP’s slow-speed Favre chase doesn’t move ratings needle

While others have richly mocked KSTP’s now-legendary Brett Favre “chopper stalking” last Tuesday, I checked in with assistant news director Sam Zeff about whether the slow-speed chase produced a ratings bump.

Answer: no.

Unlike WCCO, which posted a 22 percent ratings gain by interrupting the CBS Evening News for Favre’s press conference, Channel 5 registered little gain in the 11 a.m. hour showing Favre’s cruise from Holman Field to Winter Park, Zeff says.

“About average,” he notes.

KSTP drew ratings in the 4 range for all households, and in the 1 range for the 25-54 advertiser-favored demographic. The rating measures the percentage of the potential audience tuned in.

Unlike competitors, KSTP regularly has an hour of local news at 11 a.m., so the Bob McNaney-narrated chase didn’t require a programming change — just a new frontier in news judgment.

Zeff isn’t backing away from his glee at chatter-inducing “exclusive.” The question, he says, isn’t why Chopper 5 was there, but “where the hell” was the competition?

Like WCCO, KSTP earned higher numbers by interrupting World News at 5:30 p.m. Neff says the decision went all the way up to General Manager Rob Hubbard, indicating it was a serious matter, but the station ultimately covered the press conference from the time Favre went to the podium until about 6:12 p.m.

For a different take on Favre-mania, check out Nick Coleman’s Sunday Strib piece.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Tim McNeill on 08/24/2009 - 05:02 pm.

    I just wish the Hubbard organization understood that crime-all-the-time is too much to take nightly. It always seems as if they are shouting at you with “Breaking News,” “Exclusives,” etc. And, that set!! It is so dark and ugly. I thought the Hubbard’s might get things right with their new hires, new set, and a toned down format. But, as always they continue to rely on consultants which have done nothing to change the publics perception that KSTP is nothing more than a third place or fourth place newscast.

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