Thursday, May 25, 2006

The TV News Ratings Scoop, Plus: Change In Weather At KRQE, And: A Blog Debate: The Value Of Those TV Spots; It's All Next At The Home Of NM Politics 

Powered by a surging CBS, ABQ's KRQE-TV is poised to score one of its biggest wins in the local TV news ratings. That word from the tube insiders who say with just one night left in the May sweeps KRQE-TV's 10 p.m. news was earning a 9.5 rating compared to 6.8 for KOAT-TV and 6.3 for NBC affiliate KOB-TV. With those kinds of numbers, NM politicos can expect to pay even more for their late news 30 second KRQE spots (now about a thousand a pop) and which will be inundating the airwaves come September.

KRQE will also take the 6 p.m. crown, but not with local news. The game show "Jeopardy" trounced the news broadcsts of both KOB and KOAT garnering a preliminary 8.1 rating to KOB's 6.2 and KOAT's 5.8. A rating represents a percentage of all households that have TV and that are tuned to a particular station.

NBC affiliate KOB is struggling as its national programming dwells in the cellar. The same goes for KOAT. It was hoping for some momentum after taking the 10 p.m. news crown last February, but that was influenced by late-running NBC Olympics coverage and the station has now fallen back in the ABQ market which covers nearly the entire state.


Despite its #1 position, KRQE will be making a major personality switch come July 1. Mark Ronchetti, a popular former KOAT personality, who left for Portland Oregon TV, is coming back to ABQ to serve as the chief weatherman for KRQE effective July 1. Media mavens report KOB was also wooing Ronchetti. Meteorologist Mike Hernandez, current 13 weather guru, may remain with the station but not on the main 5:30 and 10 p.m. newscasts.


Dem land commissoner candiate Ray Powell is not going to let his rival, former land boss Jim Baca, have the radio waves to himself this primary season. Ray put up this 60 second ad as this duel between the two political heavweights enters the final stretch of Primary 06'.


You want some real insider baseball? Then follow along as veteran New Mexico pollster Brian Sanderoff and I bat the ball around over whether TV ads are justified when seeking the GOP U.S. Senate nomination for the right to take on Dem Jeff Bingaman in November, a subject we blogged about yesterday. Sanderoff is up first in the batting box.

"Joe, One third of the state’s adults are not registered. Among those who are registered, two-thirds are not Republicans, thus cannot vote in the Republican Primary. Among Republicans, 80% will not vote in the Republican Primary due to historical low turnout and a boring year. Thus, approximately 4% of the adults in the state will vote in the Republican Primary. Yet, on TV you pay for all of the adults.
With direct mail, the technology exists to target proven Republican Primary voters and hit them numerous times in the course of the campaign season."


Brian, You are correct. TV is expensive and can be inefficient in an R primary. But what it lacks in efficiency it makes up for with psychological power. If you are the only one in your contest on TV you gain stature and credibility. It also scares the heck out of your
opponent which is always fun. Most important, if the R's have any hope to unseat Sen. Bingaman their candidate has to have deep name ID coming out of the primary. Only TV can do that. The ABQ TV and El Paso markets, sprawling as they do across the state and with a low cost per thousand residents, are some of the most efficient ad buys in the nation. Also, don't forget cable TV. About 70,000 Republicans will vote in the primary. Cable news channels are a good place to target them, although not as narrowly as direct mail.

I'll give Brian, who has decades-long ties to the ABQ Journal, the last at-bat. "Joe, I totally agree TV is most effective, despite the inefficiency of buying for the Republican Primary. They are having a hard time raising money for all of the obvious reasons. The real question is whether the Republicans in Washington are going to get behind the Republican nominee and raise millions of dollars for the General Election." Concludes the pollster.

Both Sanderoff and I agree on one thing: We want a major league ball game over the U.S. Senate seat, but we may have to settle for seats at an Isotopes home stand.

Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign