Station to Station wishes the happiest of half-birthdays to News at Eleven, the nightly newscast launched on scrappy cable channel NY 1 News in Manhattan. NY1, which should consider officially adopting "scrappy" as part of its name, introduced Eleven Jan. 22, putting it up against the newscasts of the Big Three flagships, which G.M. Steve Paulus had dubbed "unwatchable" due to sweeps stunts and cheesy network tie-ins. (WCBS, WNBC and WABC cover the New York tri-state area, while NY1 focuses on New York City.)
Six months since launch, Eleven is finding its audience, says Paulus, especially for only-in-New York events like this week’s burst steam pipe and resulting asbestos geyser. "We’ve seen dramatic spikes in viewership during major news events," he says, "so it’s clear that New Yorkers continue to turn to us for late-breaking news."
Parent Time Warner Cable won’t get rich from News at Eleven, but Paulus says the station has already covered its expenses.