After Leno Crisis, NBC Sucking Up to Affiliates

By Andrew Gauthier 


Maybe it’s the pending deal with Comcast or maybe it’s the ratings disaster that was Jay Leno at 10 p.m. last season, but NBC this year opened its pocketbook to put together a schedule that seems to have energized its affiliate base. Said one industry observer: “They’re doing everything they can for the affiliates.”

Almost anything would have been an improvement over last season. Many late newscasts in local markets took big hits with Leno as their lead-in, sending news ratings plummeting on average by 25 percent, according to an analysis by Philadelphia-based Harmelin Media. NBC’s owned-and-operated stations, in some of the nation’s largest markets, may have been hit the hardest, with 40-plus percent declines in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. More…