John Walsh: More Wanted
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/12/2003 7:00:00 PM
John Walsh will have a lot to talk about when he shows up at NATPE in New Orleans next week. For starters, he can tell station execs that his daytime syndicated talk show, produced by NBC Enterprises, has ticked up a notch in the ratings each month that it has been on the air.
The John Walsh Show launched with a 1.2 national Nielsen rating in September and closed December at a 1.4. In the metered-market ratings, which measure ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates in major markets, the show has fared better, jumping to a 2.2 rating in households in December after opening with a 1.9 household average in September.
Walsh also is the only rookie show, besides Paramount's Dr. Phil, that has announced renewals for next year. So far, NBC's owned-and-operated stations and Hearst-Argyle's stations have signed on for another year, giving Walsh coverage in more than 50% of the country. Of course, both NBC and Hearst-Argyle have an ownership stake in the show, making renewals on those stations a easier to come by.
"It's real tough these days to launch a show and make it work," said NBC Enterprises President Ed Wilson. "We're trying to do everything right and trying to improve every day.
"We're going to try and make John more and more a part of our stations that carry him," Wilson added, "whether it's updating the promotions or updating the information that John is providing on his show."
Walsh is one of the busiest men in show business, working not only on The John Walsh Show day in and day out but also on his long-running prime time show on Fox, America's Most Wanted. And he is lending his name to another prime time drama, which would be a fictional account of what happens backstage at America's Most Wanted. NBC may pick it up.
To get it all done, Walsh makes the most of his time. For example, while in New Orleans for NATPE, he plans to tape shows at Tulane University and do some work with Hearst-Argyle–owned NBC affiliate WDSU-TV there.
"We knew we had something special when we were developing this show with John," Wilson said, "and now the ratings are validating that for us."
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