Preliminary information on the local ratings from the July sweeps period is in, and there's a bit of a surprise at 10 p.m.
KSL, as usual, is well out in front with a 17 rating and a 32 share.But the real news about the news is who's in second. And, for a change, KUTV-Ch. 2 isn't there alone.
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., KUTV tied KTVX-Ch. 4 in the all-important 10 p.m. news wars, both garnering 9 ratings and 17 shares.
That's cause for celebration at Ch. 4, and cause of consternation at Ch. 2.
And one has to wonder how the folks at NBC, who are in the process of buying majority interest in KUTV, are going to feel about this. They just paid a ton of money - reportedly as much as $100 million or more - for a station that isn't even a clear-cut No. 2 in the late news, and whose early evening newscasts continue to struggle.
Maybe local viewers will be seeing more changes more quickly at KUTV News when NBC takes over. (Which is expected to be in about three months, if the Federal Communications Commission approves the sale - which is expected.)
SKI BUMS? Local television insiders weren't the only ones who were a bit surprised by NBC's purchase of KUTV.
David Poltrack, CBS' executive vice president of planning and research, was in town on Friday to help KSL makes a rather snazzy presentation to its advertisers. And he said the network brass in New York were rather taken aback by the developments.
"Maybe they're skiers at NBC," Poltrack said.
COMPETITION COMING: Do you think they're a bit concerned at both KUTV and KTVX about KSL's forthcoming 6 a.m. news?
They must be at least a bit worried, because both have stepped up their advertising for their own 6 a.m. newscasts considerably.
Ch. 2 in particular has been plugging away with a vengeance, even promoting the next day's 6 a.m. news in prime time instead of that night's 10 p.m. newscast.
fX IN SALT LAKE CITY: The fX Channel, Fox's struggling new cable outlet, will have a crew from its "Breakfast Time" morning show in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas this coming week for live remotes.
Wow. What exposure for Utah. All those "Breakfast Time" viewers (who number in the thousands) will see everything from Carol's Pastry Shop to the local food bank to a desert tour to a local truck stop.
Just one thing. Do these fX folks know it's not really light out yet at 5 a.m. around here? (They'll be doing these live remotes from 5-6 a.m.)