TVNewser Challenge ’08: A Look Back

By SteveK 

Last year at this time we brought you the 2008 TVNewser Challenge — eight questions about what will happen in the coming year. With more than 25,000 total votes cast, the results were set. In a year of some sketchy predicting ability by the “experts,” how did you do with your predictions?

• In the closest vote of the Challenge, 47.83% of you thought NBC Nightly News would finish first while 47.60% thought it would be ABC. In the end, although it was close, the NBC’s have it.

• None of our five choices left the anchor chair during 2008; in fact, two got a contract extension. Maybe we should have put Alan Colmes in.

• We asked whether the Today show would “maintain its dominance” or “lose ground to GMA.” 49.29% of you thought “Today” would maintain its dominance while while 37.63% thought the program would lose ground. In fact, the “Today” show had a very strong 2008 consistently beating second place GMA by more than a million viewers. The Total Viewer gap increased from 13% (616,000) in 2007 to 26% (1,134,000) in 2008.

• 71.34% of you were right that Shepard Smith will continue what he’s doing (but in a new studio) at 7pmET.

• Despite a big push by Nancy Grace in December, 45.42% had it right that Campbell Brown’s 8pmET show on CNN would finish #3 in the time slot.

• The cable news show most likely to be canceled was a runaway in the voting, and the majority got it right: 57.67% of you thought it would be “Tucker” and an additional 10.19% were sort of right about CNBC’s “The Big Idea.” (Shelved, not canceled.)

• Then there’s Fox Business Network. 52.46% thought the new net would not be close to CNBC in the ratings, and although that’s somewhat vague, it’s probably closer to the truth than “competitive with CNBC.” So we’ll keep an eye after year two.

• The Weekend Today anchor race was decided, by not being decided. We asked who would be the co-anchor with Lester Holt: 34.4% said it would be Amy Robach, 31.67% said Jenna Wolfe and 33.92% voted “Neither.” In the end nothing has changed — Robach anchors Saturday, Wolfe on Sunday. Should we vote again?

Which brings us to 2009.

Later today — The 2009 TVNewser Challenge!