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.
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.