Tucson grows, but falls a notch in TV rankings - Inside Tucson Business: Media Watch

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Tucson grows, but falls a notch in TV rankings

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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2013 12:00 am

With the launch of the 2013-2014 TV season this week, the Nielsen ratings company has done its annual revision of market rankings. For Tucson it was a case of pluses and minuses this year.

The pluses: 4,510 TV households were added to the market, bringing the total number to 442,950, amounting to growth of about 1 percent. It was the first time in three years the market grew, according to Nielsen.

The minuses: Tucson dropped another notch to No. 71 in the market rankings. The market ranking has continued to slide downward since the 2008-2009 season when it was No. 66. This year, Honolulu leap-frogged over Tucson.

The Phoenix market grew by 43,270 households — a 2.4 percent increase — to 1.85 million households. That was enough to make Phoenix the largest market in the U.S. to jump up the market rankings, moving up to No. 12, from No. 13, trading places with the Seattle market.

Names in news

Look who is back: Debbie Wagner, who had spent all but 14 months of her 29-year media career in Tucson until December 2008 when she left for San Diego, is once again market manager for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s seven Tucson radio stations. She reports to regional market manager Glynn Alan, who has moved from Tucson to Las Vegas and will continue to oversee the company’s operations there, in Tucson and El Paso. While she was away, Wagner ran Clear Channel’s San Diego stations until September 2012. In her previous 14 months away from the market, she ran Clear Channel’s stations in Springfield, Mass., until August 2003.

Changes on the weekend news anchor desk at KOLD 13 and KMSB 11: Colton Shone will become co-anchor in late October, coming from Phoenix where he has been a reporter at CBS-affiliate KPHO the past three years. Shone is a member of the Navajo Nation and a graduate of Arizona State University. He will join Paige Hansen on the desk but it will be a relatively short combination because she has already given notice that she plans to leave at the end of the year. Meanwhile, Chris Holmstrom, who had been anchoring the weekend newscasts, is now in Portland, Ore., as a news anchor and reporter for the CBS affiliate, KOIN.

Remember Josh Benson, morning co-anchor on KVOA 4 from 2005 to 2010? This month he was suddenly fired from his latest position as co-anchor of the morning show on WFOR, the CBS-owned station in Miami, Fla. The dismissal has caused quite a stir and, according to published reports, Benson is considering his legal options. The station issued a statement, saying, “WFOR-TV has terminated the employment of Josh Benson for his operation of a personal website that streamed the station’s newscasts without the knowledge and consent of the station.” But there’s a lot of buzz surrounding the situation noting the dismissal came within hours of Benson posting a review of Aereo, a service that takes broadcast TV stations’ signals and streams them through Internet-connected devices. CBS has taken an agggressively hard legal stance to fight Aereo. In January, the network’s CNET subsidary CNET was forbidden from awarding Aereo its “Best of” award at the International Consumer Electronics Show. Benson had been working in Miami about a year, coming from Orlando, Fla., where he had been since leaving Tucson.

Quick takes

• A total of 25 entries by Tucson media outlets have been nominated for regional Emmy Awards this year. Among the higher profile nominations, KOLD 13’s chief meteorologist Chuck George is up for best weather reporting and sports anchor-reporter Dave Kelly is up for sports anchor, and KVOA 4’s Nichole Szemerei is a finalist for best traffic reporting, and videographer Paul Hanke is nominated for his sports photography. Arizona Public Media’s KUAT-TV 6 has the most entries nominated for Emmys, 10, followed by KOLD with seven, KVOA with four, KGUN 9 with three and the City of Tucson’s Tucson 12 nominated for one. The 36th annual Rock Mountain Emmy Awards will be handed out in ceremonies Oct. 19 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

• Two of the themed nights on “Arizona Illustrated,” 6:30 p.m. weekdays on KUAT-TV 6, have traded places. The weekly shows focusing on nature now air on Mondays and the metro-themed shows have moved to Wednesdays. Sue DeBenedette, marketing manager for Arizona Public Media, said the swap was done primarily to accommodate the Arizona Daily Star and Maria Parham, editorial page editor and host of the metro show. Since the launch of the themed shows, “Arizona Illustrated” has faced some ratings struggles on certain nights but both the nature and metro nights have been performing close to the show’s overall ratings average.

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