Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Same, But Different, Sort Of .....

I'm a little late getting to this post by Stewart at Newsroom Stew, about results from the 'February book,' the latest of the quarterly assessments of local television viewing.

KWES (where I once worked) finished first, followed closely by KOSA (where I once worked), with KMID (where I once worked) following as a distant third. Stewart's post looked at the bare numbers ..... but those numbers did spur some thoughts.

For one thing, the gap between KWES (NewsWest 9) and KOSA (CBS7) is really quite close. In fact, depending upon how 'processed' those numbers are, there might not be any gaps in some cases, if you take into account the margin-of-error that accompanies most sampling ..... OR the gaps may be even wider.

This isn't the first time a station has made a strong move to take over as the #1 station in the market. It happened back in the 80s, when KMID knocked KOSA out of the top spot. And it happened again in the 90s, when KWES took over that top spot. KOSA must be hungry ..... for nearly a quarter-century, they've been the #2 station in this market. But over the past year or two, they've assembled a strong lineup of newspeople, and they have been making some inroads, taking - but not holding onto - the #1 spot in one time slot or another, in one book or another.

But that doesn't mean that KWES is going to step aside ..... quite the opposite, apparently ..... and there's plenty of strength in THAT newsroom, as well.

Differences since twenty years ago, or ten years ago? Yes. The internet, for one thing. Both KWES and KOSA are developing the online component of their news product, and promoting it with their on-air component ..... and using it to complement and supplement their on-air component.

Spanish-language broadcasting, for another thing. Once, it was confined to limited public affairs programming on the weekend. We now have Spanish-language networks with local affiliates, and a local news department that works in conjunction with its English-language partner ..... again, complementing and supplementing one another.

Another difference is a more personal one, for me ..... no John Foster. He was a major player - THE player, really - in KMID's dramatic move to the top, then the equally dramatic move by KWES to the top. John knew the business from the ground up ..... literally, with a career that started behind the camera, on the studio floor. And his stations were sort of like a big - and, sometimes, dysfunctional - family. But he always managed to get the best from us, and gave his best in return.


That Janie Girl said...

I served on the SandHills Rodeo board with John Foster. He was a man of excellence and vision, in that world. He was a joy to work with, and encouraged me greatly.

Jeff said...

Janie, yes he was on the board ..... though we were never able to get him to ride a horse on opening night ..... he much preferred the modern metal, 4-wheeled variety with hundreds of horses under the hood.

Les said...

Yep, I knew John (tho not well) from the racetrack. He was a racer through and through.

I think the strength of KOSA is its local ownership. Like him or not, John Bushman puts his money into the local economy and I appreciate that. It's a shame KMID is not more competitive and depends entirely on funding decisions with little local influence.

I tip my hat to KOSA and to KWES for the effort to represent the area well.