In its first sweeps month without Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The WB took some hits in the ratings but network executives say they will still post their best-ever revenue in the fourth quarter.
The WB finished the sweeps down seven percent in households (2.8 rating/4 share), five percent in total viewers (4.3 million) and 13% in adults 18-34 (2.0/6).
"Would we have had a slightly higher number if we had
kept Buffy? The answer is yes," says Jamie Kellner, Chairman and CEO of Turner
"But it was a better long-term decision and we will be able to become profitable much more quicker now."
WB Entertainment President Jordan Levin also pointed to
the loss of Buffy and weak ratings on Thursday and Sunday nights for the
Levin said the network's new crop of shows like Smallville and Reba have the network headed in the right direction with its core young viewer-audience.
"What is clear is we are the winner when it comes to
fulfilling our strategy with young women, we are succeeding in our bread and
butter business and advertisers are responding to it," says Levin.
"Because we remain true to our original mission and we have executed, we are a service dedicated to entertaining young adults and teens with a female 12-34 slant, that's who we are, that's how we are being recognized, there is a business there and it's paying off."
The WB was off nine percent in females 12-34 for the
sweeps and 10% in females 18-34.
Jed Petrick, the network's new president and COO, said "The concentrations of young teens and young adults that we continue to put on the Nielsen scoreboard are translating into the best demand we have ever had here for our inventory."
Petrick said The WB is up 20% in volume of advertising and the network has had its best scatter-market ever.
- Joe Schlosser