Channel Surfing
by Laura Nachman
February 24, 2003

       WTXF can thank a couple of guys named Simon and Joe for a fantastic February sweeps.  Due to the enormous ratings of "American Idol" and "Joe Millionaire," the WTXF "Ten O'clock News" had an incredible 56-percent increase in viewers from last year, as it posted a 7.8 rating/11share entering the final three days of sweeps.  At 11 p.m., WPVI was leading rival WCAU by one rating point at press time. WPVI had a 13.1 rating/21 share and WCAU had a 12.1 rating/20 share.  KYW was third with a 7.6 rating/12 share, but increased its ratings 15-percent from last February with the new team of Marc Howard and meteorologist/co-anchor Kathy Orr.  KYW is the only station that is up in all local newscasts Monday through Friday from early morning through the late news; however WPVI is the leader from 5-7 a.m., noon, 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and the previously mentioned 11 p.m.  Also noteworthy, from 5-7 a.m., "KYW Newsradio" on WPSG, which gives the fastest weather in town, is almost up to a 1.0 rating in less than a year on the air.  At 5 p.m., WPVI leads with a 12.0 rating/21share.  And at 6 p.m., WPVI leads with a 15.5 rating/25 share. WPVI had higher ratings than WCAU and KYW combined.  Each rating point equals 28,305 homes.

       Though most of the weather anchors incorrectly predicted the arrival of last week's snow storm, WTXF's Rob Guarino was one who got it right.  "On Saturday night, I said don't be surprised if you see snow when you wake up tomorrow morning," said the seven-year veteran of the station.  Guarino said he's received over forty-three hundred emails from viewers thanking him for his accurate calls this winter.  Though Guarino seems to have the disadvantage of reporting from what looks like a "weather nook," he claims that he's had the best forecasting success of his career this winter.  "I don't want to give away my secret, but I've adjusted my method of predictions and have been in a better groove."   Though these big winter storms are like "The Super Bowl" for weathercasters, Guarino said he is ready for winter to end and is looking forward to returning to managing the Fox softball team in the spring. 
       The WPVI weather team of Dave Roberts, Cecily Tynan, SallyAnn Mosey, and David Murphy will present "The 2003 Philadelphia Flower Show," live Saturday at 7 p.m.