Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12 JAN 10: Early to Bed

The thing about being a stereotypical "blogger in his pajamas" is that you have to blog either late at night, or early in the morning. I choose to blog late, after the news of the day calms down -- and that way, my one-liners beat the morning radio hosts by several hours.

But it appears many people in the Columbus area are not night owls these days. Evidence of that came our way Monday - as we were told there's a new champion of late-night television news. A knowledgeable inside source reports WXTX "News at Ten" has more viewers than any station does at 11:00 p.m. Those critics of "The Jay Leno Show" turned out to be right after all.

This source says based on the November TV ratings, WXTX led all Columbus stations in late-night news viewers. WTVM at 11:00 p.m. was second. Beyond that, I have no numbers - but I don't think it's mathematically possible for WLTZ's "11 at 11" to finish in 11th place.

Our source did NOT reveal the November rating numbers for other times of day. But I'm going to take a guess about the outcome - and predict WTVM had the top-ranked local newscast at both 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m.

But let's go back to the late-night numbers. WXTX reached the top of the news ladder in a month with NO "American Idol," and with a couple of newscasts delayed well past 10:00 p.m. by the World Series. This should settle beyond all doubt the sex appeal of Cat Deeley on "So You Think You Can Dance."

WXTX began showing news at 10:00 p.m. six years ago. In the Roszell Gadson-Deborah Singer era, Fox 54 urged people to "get your news, weather, sports and go to bed." It appears a growing number of TV viewers took them up on the idea - well, most of it. Jerry Seinfeld remains on the air at 10:35 p.m., instead of infomercials.

Some watchers of popular culture would say the success of WXTX reflects a national trend. More people go to bed earlier, in part because they get up early to send children off to school. I've heard stories of Columbus children waiting at bus stops at 5:45 a.m. to ride to magnet schools -- magnets with a pull so strong they can get youngsters out of bed by 5:00.

Another reason for earlier bedtimes is that many people try to get a head start on morning rush-hour traffic. That explains why TV stations in bigger cities begin morning news at 5:00 a.m., or even earlier. But WXTX managers didn't quite grasp that part - because they tried to have a "Fox 54 Morning News" at 7:00.

I've seen enough traffic on Interstate 185 at 5:15 a.m. to know some people would appreciate an earlier morning newscast in Columbus. But for now, there's no local TV news before 5:30. And only GPB Radio seems to have regional news at 5:00. Of course, GPB is based in Atlanta - where highway construction crews have to get out of the way by 4:45.

-> Our latest poker night left us very satisfied, for more than one reason. Read why at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <--

E-MAIL UPDATE: When someone mentioned in this blog fires a quick response our way, we're a little nervous. When the title of the message is "LOL!!!!!," we feel a little better....

Mr. Burkard,

Reference 11 JAN 10: T.T. Town?

I enjoyed your witty presentation. Still having a laugh about "the ring" comment. Good one!

My e-mail is likely the best evidence that our Blog effort is underway ... Constructive, Positive, Factual, etc.

Thanks for a great start to the day and week.

Tollie Strode, Jr.

Strode manages the now-official Teresa Tomlinson campaign for mayor. An introductory news release was sent out Monday, and the campaign web site was set up in full. Tomlinson also has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, a YouTube channel - why, about the only thing she doesn't have right now is a physical campaign headquarters.

The news release says Teresa Tomlinson "will wind down her duties" as Midtown Inc. Executive Director over the next several weeks. This follows news that The Butler's Pantry plans to open a restaurant at the old Café 222 on Seventh Street -- so she's moving strategically close to the Government Center, waiting for the right moment to take it over.

Did you see the interview with Teresa Tomlinson on WLTZ, from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce meeting? That man in the background staring toward the camera is campaign supporter Jeremy Hobbs -- as if he's looking for the slightest sign his candidate is being asked a tough question.

To be fair, we checked on the other announced candidate for Columbus Mayor. The web site "WayneAnthony.com" has been reserved in his name for several years, but the home page is "under construction." Anthony may be organizing a group of "House of Heroes" volunteers to fix that....

Meanwhile, another Columbus resident was offered Monday as a candidate for Georgia House Speaker. Rep. Calvin Smyre lost on a party-line vote, which shows Republicans still have a majority - but doesn't really back up new Speaker David Ralston's promise to move away from business as usual.

Let's quit politicking now, and send some Instant Messages of our own....

+ To the Harris County Commission: Ohhhh - THAT'S what you mean by a "convenience center." It's a place to drop off trash. It's not a store with gas pumps and a beer cooler.

+ To Peachtree Mall: I don't know whether to be shocked or angry. But I was stunned to stop at Albany Mall Monday, and find it has a Cinnabon stand. If they can have one, why can't we? And no, the dessert table at Piccadilly Cafeteria is NOT the same thing.

+ To Kirby Smart: I realize Georgia football fans are upset with you. But when you decline to leave a national championship team to take the same Defensive Coordinator job at another college, I think you're simply living up to your name.

+ To Columbus auto theft suspect Elias Clark: Yes, I know - you're innocent until proven guilty. But when you're walking around town with the words "CRAZY WHITE BOY" tattooed on the front of your neck, you're not helping your cause with the jury one bit.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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