Channel Surfing

By Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
March 8, 2005


Here are some notes from the local February sweeps.


WPVI has the top rated newscast in every timeslot.  Its 6 p.m. show with Jim Gardner, with a 14 rating/23 share, is the second highest rated newscast in the country, only behind WABC in New York.


However, WPVI’s 5-7 a.m. newscast is down 4%, less than a rating point ahead of WCAU’s news, and the 11 p.m. newscast is down 8% (as is the ABC network lead-in at 10:45 p.m.)


For, WCAU the 5-7 a.m. news is up 38% from last year, and its 5 p.m. news is up 16% while KYW’s “Dr. Phil” is down 4% from last year. The WCAU 6 p.m. show is up 14%, while KYW’s 6 p.m. show is down 4%. 


KYW’s 11 p.m. show is the only late news to go up in the ratings (5%), while WPVI and WCAU went down – 8% and 4% respectively. KYW’s morning show from 5-7 a.m. is up 16%.


KYW’s struggles begin at 3 p.m., as “Celebrity Justice” and “Inside Edition” are down 25% from that time a year ago.  Conversely, WCAU’s “Ellen” is up 33%.  Since the days of Luke’s perm, “General Hospital” on WPVI continues to lead (go Sonny go!)


At 4 p.m., “Oprah” is up 10% for WPVI, the news on WCAU is up 22%, and the KYW news is down 16%.  “Judge Joe Brown” on WTXF is tied with the KYW news when the numbers are rounded off.


Connie Colla and Kevin Walsh are the new co-hosts of “Your Morning” on CN8.  Cathy Ballou and Cyndi Edwards, who were the original hosts of the show, which is approaching its second anniversary, were let go following Friday’s show. For now, Arthur Fennell will anchor the 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. news solo, and Greg Coy and Gwen Owens will take over Walsh’s 1 p.m. news until permanent replacements are named.


Former WCAU anchor and Upper Makefield resident Lisa Mishler is not returning to television soon.  In an email Mishler wrote that she is expecting baby number three (a girl) at the end of the summer, joining Alexis, 4, and Chase, 1.  She is also working on a children’s book based on a story she wrote for her daughter.


Larry Mendte and Kathy Orr will co-host the “St. Patrick’s Day” parade on KYW March 13th from 12:30-3:30 pm. Orr went up a few notches in my book when I learned that she was a contestant on MTV’s old game show “Remote Control.” 


A certain television columnist (moi) was also a contestant on the show, but choked and lost in the “lightning round.”


There are many who got their start on the show, such as Adam Sandler, Denis Leary, and Colin Quinn.  Hostess Kari Wuhrer just landed a role on “General Hospital.”  Where have you gone Ken Ober?


The closest thing to “Remote Control” on the air today is “Ultimate Film Fanatic” on IFC.


The Philadelphia edition of “The Real World” concludes tonight at 10 p.m. on MTV.


“Inside Story” with Monica Malpass now airs at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays on WPVI.


Beginning Monday, KYW 1060-AM will be one of 11 Infinity stations across the country to begin streaming via the internet. 


Though there were rumblings on the radio message boards that WMWX 95.7-FM might switch to alternative rock to fill the void left by Y-100’s switch to “The Beat,” according to a source at Mix, it’s unlikely. 


WHYY-12 is airing clips from "Live Aid" Friday at 10 p.m.  The historic 1985 concert that took place in Philadelphia and London featured 75 acts, including incredible performances by The Who, David Bowie, Queen, U2, Mick Jagger and Tina Turner, and Eric Clapton.