Twice is nice for Walsh
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/15/2002 8:00:00 PM
Last week's launch of The John Walsh Show, a daily talk show featuring the famous host of Fox's America's Most Wanted, averaged a 1.6 rating/5 share but did exceedingly well in some markets, particularly Detroit.
At Post-Newsweek's WDIV(TV) Detroit, Walsh ran twice on Monday, Sept. 9: once in its regular time slot at 10 a.m. and again in prime time. During the day, Walsh chalked up a 3.3/11. Then, in a bid to really promote the show, WDIV got permission to rerun it at 8 p.m. that night.
Even NBC Enterprises, which syndicates the show, was surprised at the results. The replay was second in its time slot with a 6.7/10, and its first half-hour even beat the season premiere of The Drew Carey Show on ABC.
NBC Enterprises President Ed Wilson is especially happy with the show's early performance because "we're in a difficult environment right now" and gauging Walsh was tougher than usual debuts. Nine minutes into the first show, there were problems with the audio feed, which may have caused viewers to change the channel. A nationally televised press conference by Attorney General John Ashcroft warning of possible terror attacks cut in on Walsh's time on several stations on day two. And the one-year anniversary of 9/11 preempted all programming on the third day, making it difficult to evaluate the show's performance for the week.
Still, the show chalked up some impressive numbers in local markets. In Detroit, Walsh's ratings increased on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to a 3.8/13. In New York, Walsh kicked off with a 1.5/5 and followed up with a 2.8/11, an 87% increase in ratings and a 120% increase in share. In Washington, it ran twice on Monday—at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. That strategy paid off with a first-day rating/share of 2.2/7 and 1.8/6, respectively. And in Chicago, the program significantly built its rating/share after a less than stellar launch, putting up a 2.3/8 on Tuesday after doing a 1.3/4 on its first day.
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