A Bevy of Hurricanes Prompts Weathergasms O’Plenty, The Memphis Market Continues to Shrink and Some Observations

When I flip on the TV in the morning, the first thing I turn to is the weather.  These days I’m not sure if the good folks at The Weather Channel could be any more pumped up if they had just stepped out of an Orgasmatron. (For those not familiar with that reference, check out the 1973 Woody Allen movie “Sleeper”.) Anyway,  with Gustav winding down, and other hurricanes and tropical storms lined up like airplanes in a holding pattern waiting to make landfall somewhere,  the weather folks are almost breathless in sharing with the viewing public where the storms are, what they are doing, pictures of storms and storm damage from folks in outlying territories and occasional nude photos of the staff.  Okay, I made up that last one to see if you are paying attention.  As for the field crews, they’re running around like a man with diarrhea in a round room trying to find a corner to crap in.  I would imagine they will blow their entire travel/satellite budget in the next two weeks.  Of course with the hurricane season winding down at the end of November they may not care but if TWC folks don’t calm down someone is going to have a heart attack. Nuff said there.

I was trying to get out of town late last week ( I was one of he coordinators of the huge family reunion in Western Kentucky) so when I received the news (thanks DJ) about the Memphis market shrinking, I wasn’t able to post on it.  Well, Memphis has fallen another notch in the Nielson Market rankings slipping from 47th to 48th.  Nashville and Little Rock both climbed one notch with the Music City climbing from 30th to 29 and the Little Rock/Pine Bluff market climbing from 57 to 56.  I’m not certain but it seems to me that Memphis was ranked about 42 or 43 when I first moved here in 1989 and may have had an even smaller number (perhaps 41).  Of course there are those who say size isn’t important; it’s what you do with it.  ( I’m still talking market size here folks. )  Where are all of these folks going when they leave Memphis.  I know some ARE going to Nashville but everyone can’t be.  All I know for sure is that they are leaving.

Congrats to Brian Kuebler, formerly of WREG in making a leap to Market 26/Baltimore, where he will work with his former boss and former WMC ND Peggy Phillip.   I may have known that he worked for the Pegster before he showed up DOTR but if I did I must have killed those brain cells.  Anyway, it’s a big market jump and I suspect he will do well.   Maybe once he gets established there he will send us some softshelled crabs in exchange for some barbecue ribs.

And one final observation and I’m curious if anyone else has any thoughts about this.  I saw an article in a local newspaper referring to former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson.  Now maybe I’m just splitting hairs but wouldn’t it be correct to say former U-S Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee.  If I were using the term “former Tennessee senator” I would use that to describe someone like John Ford who was a former state senator.  Just my opinion.

And for those of you who are interested, I’m posting the Nielson Market Rankings below, or at least attempting to.

NIELSEN MARKET RANKINGS

2007-08

2008-09

2008

2009

Rank

Rank

TV Homes

TV Homes

1

1

New York

7,391,940

7,433,820

2

2

Los Angeles

5,647,440

5,654,260

3

3

Chicago

3,469,110

3,492,850

4

4

Philadelphia

2,939,950

2,950,220

5

5

Dallas-Ft. Worth

2,435,600

2,489,970

6

6

San Francisco-Oak-San Jose

2,419,440

2,476,450

7

7

Boston ( Manchester )

2,393,960

2,409,080

8

8

Atlanta

2,310,490

2,369,780

9

9

Washington, DC (Hagrstwn)

2,308,290

2,321,610

10

10

Houston

2,050,550

2,106,210

11

11

Detroit

1,925,460

1,926,970

12

12

Phoenix ( Prescott )

1,802,550

1,855,930

13

13

Tampa-St. Pete ( Sarasota )

1,783,910

1,822,160

14

14

Seattle-Tacoma

1,782,040

1,819,970

15

15

Minneapolis-St. Paul

1,706,740

1,730,530

16

16

Miami-Ft. Lauderdale

1,536,020

1,546,920

17

17

Cleveland-Akron ( Canton )

1,533,710

1,524,930

18

18

Denver

1,477,280

1,524,210

19

19

Orlando-Daytona Bch-Melbrn

1,434,050

1,466,420

20

20

Sacramnto-Stkton-Modesto

1,391,790

1,399,520

21

21

St. Louis

1,244,370

1,249,820

23

22

+1

Portland, OR

1,150,320

1,175,100

22

23

-1

Pittsburgh

1,158,210

1,156,460

25

24

+1

Charlotte

1,085,640

1,122,860

26

25

+1

Indianapolis

1,072,090

1,114,970

24

26

-2

Baltimore

1,095,490

1,102,080

28

27

+1

Raleigh-Durham (Fayetvlle)

1,039,890

1,080,680

27

28

-1

San Diego

1,051,210

1,066,680

30

29

+1

Nashville

966,170

1,016,290

29

30

-1

Hartford & New Haven

1,007,490

1,014,990

31

31

Kansas City

927,060

937,970

32

32

Columbus, OH

905,690

925,840

35

33

+2

Salt Lake City

874,650

919,390

33

34

-1

Cincinnati

904,340

915,570

34

35

-1

Milwaukee

891,010

905,350

36

36

Greenvll-Spart-Ashevll-And

838,270

858,050

37

37

San Antonio

792,440

818,560

38

38

West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce

775,340

779,430

39

39

Grand Rapids-Kalmzoo-B.Crk

739,640

741,420

40

40

Birmingham (Ann and Tusc)

730,430

739,750

41

41

Harrisburg-Lncstr-Leb-York

723,620

738,880

43

42

+1

Las Vegas

707,470

728,410

42

43

-1

Norfolk-Portsmth-Newpt Nws

717,440

718,020

44

44

Albuquerque-Santa Fe

677,740

689,120

45

45

Oklahoma City

676,850

687,300

46

46

Greensboro-H.Point-W.Salem

671,980

685,110

49

47

+2

Jacksonville

655,470

674,860

47

48

-1

Memphis

667,890

673,770

51

49

+2

Austin

635,860

667,670

48

50

-2

Louisville

657,180

667,230

50

51

-1

Buffalo

636,700

631,120

52

52

Providence-New Bedford

626,800

622,580

53

53

New Orleans

600,150

602,740

54

54

Wilkes Barre-Scranton

592,310

594,570

55

55

Fresno-Visalia

568,730

574,900

57

56

+1

Little Rock-Pine Bluff

552,400

567,060

56

57

-1

Albany-Schenectady-Troy

553,790

556,750

59

58

+1

Richmond-Petersburg

526,760

550,240

58

59

-1

Knoxville

534,410

547,930

61

60

+1

Mobile-Pensacola (Ft Walt)

517,410

537,810

60

61

-1

Tulsa

519,820

529,540

63

62

+1

Ft. Myers-Naples

491,760

509,530

64

63

+1

Lexington

490,530

503,260

62

64

-2

Dayton

511,220

483,790

65

65

Charleston-Huntington

476,680

479,750

66

66

Flint-Saginaw-Bay City

469,980

465,790

67

67

Roanoke-Lynchburg

451,580

461,420

68

68

Tucson ( Sierra Vista )

446,550

456,030

69

69

Wichita-Hutchinson Plus

446,520

450,930

70

70

Green Bay-Appleton

439,940

444,210

71

71

Des Moines-Ames

425,760

432,410

73

72

+1

Honolulu

424,010

429,940

72

73

-1

Toledo

424,670

425,890

74

74

Springfield, MO

410,930

421,960

77

75

+2

Spokane

403,820

416,630

75

76

-1

Omaha

407,700

411,520

76

77

-1

Portland-Auburn

407,560

410,890

79

78

+1

Paducah-Cape Girard-Harsbg

390,130

393,260

81

79

+2

Columbia, SC

384,060

393,170

78

80

-2

Rochester, NY

392,420

390,590

80

81

-1

Syracuse

386,380

388,000

83

82

+1

Huntsville-Decatur (Flor)

382,790

386,520

84

83

+1

Champaign&Sprngfld-Decatur

378,870

386,000

82

84

-2

Shreveport

383,610

385,770

85

85

Madison

372,990

378,740

86

86

Chattanooga

353,680

366,780

88

87

+1

Harlingen-Wslco-Brnsvl-McA

338,550

349,910

87

88

-1

Cedar Rapids-Wtrlo-IWC&Dub

339,480

346,330

89

89

South Bend-Elkhart

337,870

334,720

90

90

Jackson, MS

334,200

334,650

93

91

+2

Colorado Springs-Pueblo

326,380

334,390

91

92

-1

Tri-Cities, TN-VA

328,970

332,840

92

93

-1

Burlington-Plattsburgh

328,050

331,320

95

94

+1

Waco-Temple-Bryan

315,900

329,690

94

95

-1

Baton Rouge

317,550

326,390

97

96

+1

Savannah

306,680

319,160

96

97

-1

Davenport-R.Island-Moline

308,950

309,600

98

98

El Paso ( Las Cruces )

302,470

308,080

100

99

+1

Charleston, SC

294,230

307,610

102

100

+2

Ft. Smith-Fay-Sprngdl-Rgrs

289,080

297,920

99

101

-2

Johnstown-Altoona-St Colge

295,180

293,860

101

102

-1

Evansville

290,060

292,220

105

103

+2

Greenville-N.Bern-Washngtn

276,020

289,050

103

104

-1

Myrtle Beach-Florence

279,820

285,010

108

105

+3

Tallahassee-Thomasville

267,850

282,390

104

106

-2

Lincoln & Hastings-Krny

277,270

281,290

107

107

Ft. Wayne

273,240

275,350

110

108

+2

Reno

263,060

271,080

106

109

-3

Youngstown

273,480

268,930

111

110

+1

Tyler-Longview(Lfkn&Ncgd)

260,800

265,200

109

111

-2

Springfield-Holyoke

263,520

262,850

113

112

+1

Boise

251,920

262,290

114

113

+1

Sioux Falls(Mitchell)

251,000

260,190

112

114

-2

Lansing

255,040

258,650

115

115

Augusta

250,790

253,950

117

116

+1

Peoria-Bloomington

243,640

248,510

116

117

-1

Traverse City-Cadillac

247,690

247,650

118

118

Montgomery-Selma

243,200

247,230

120

119

+1

Eugene

235,750

242,790

119

120

-1

Fargo-Valley City

237,140

241,120

122

121

+1

SantaBarbra-SanMar-SanLuOb

232,850

240,190

121

122

-1

Macon

234,690

239,820

123

123

Lafayette, LA

226,710

230,670

124

124

Monterey-Salinas

222,900

225,350

125

125

Bakersfield

217,210

220,730

126

126

Yakima-Pasco-Rchlnd-Knnwck

213,000

216,780

127

127

La Crosse-Eau Claire

212,210

215,610

128

128

Columbus, GA ( Opelika , AL )

207,470

213,980

129

129

Corpus Christi

195,940

197,290

130

130

Chico-Redding

195,180

197,280

131

131

Amarillo

191,930

192,090

132

132

Rockford

188,670

188,860

133

133

Columbus-Tupelo-West Point

186,100

188,740

135

134

+1

Wilmington

179,760

187,480

134

135

-1

Wausau-Rhinelander

182,800

184,220

136

136

Monroe-El Dorado

178,730

179,190

137

137

Columbia-Jefferson City

172,570

179,010

139

138

+1

Topeka

171,010

175,940

138

139

-1

Duluth-Superior

172,350

173,180

140

140

Medford-Klamath Falls

167,340

171,830

141

141

Beaumont-Port Arthur

164,640

165,440

144

142

+2

Palm Springs

155,590

159,240

148

143

+5

Lubbock

152,810

158,070

147

144

+3

Salisbury

153,490

157,940

149

145

+4

Wichita Falls & Lawton

152,310

157,820

142

146

-4

Erie

157,830

157,610

146

147

-1

Albany, GA

154,960

156,800

145

148

-3

Joplin-Pittsburg

155,100

156,560

143

149

-6

Sioux City

156,350

154,900

150

150

Anchorage

146,310

150,620

154

151

+3

Panama City

142,270

147,520

151

152

-1

Terre Haute

145,380

145,450

152

153

-1

Bangor

143,650

145,100

153

154

-1

Rochestr-Mason City-Austin

143,290

144,700

155

155

Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill

141,770

142,570

157

156

+1

Odessa-Midland

137,180

141,560

156

157

-1

Binghamton

138,690

138,930

158

158

Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson

135,170

136,730

159

159

Wheeling-Steubenville

135,160

133,700

162

160

+2

Gainesville

122,720

129,960

161

161

Sherman-Ada

125,550

128,100

163

162

+1

Idaho Fals-Pocatllo(Jcksn)

120,100

124,220

160

163

-3

Biloxi-Gulfport

129,510

121,750

165

164

+1

Yuma-El Centro

113,220

115,650

164

165

-1

Abilene-Sweetwater

113,890

115,310

167

166

+1

Missoula

108,510

111,340

168

167

+1

Hattiesburg-Laurel

106,560

110,330

166

168

-2

Clarksburg-Weston

108,800

109,150

169

169

Utica

106,140

106,280

170

170

Billings

104,970

106,030

171

171

Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk

103,500

103,910

172

172

Dothan

99,860

100,950

174

173

+1

Jackson, TN

96,350

98,050

175

174

+1

Rapid City

94,610

96,450

173

175

-2

Elmira (Corning)

96,380

96,090

176

176

Lake Charles

94,550

95,410

177

177

Watertown

92,010

94,960

178

178

Harrisonburg

89,280

92,900

180

179

+1

Alexandria, LA

88,330

89,630

179

180

-1

Marquette

88,960

89,290

182

181

+1

Jonesboro

80,000

80,900

183

182

+1

Bowling Green

79,100

80,260

181

183

-2

Charlottesville

85,520

76,600

187

184

+3

Grand Junction-Montrose

69,320

73,360

186

185

+1

Meridian

70,740

72,280

185

186

-1

Lima

70,910

70,690

184

187

-3

Greenwood-Greenville

75,190

70,050

188

188

Laredo

67,150

68,110

189

189

Lafayette, IN

66,330

67,070

194

190

+4

Butte-Bozeman

61,620

65,480

191

191

Great Falls

63,520

64,910

192

192

Bend, OR

62,870

64,830

190

193

-3

Parkersburg

63,680

63,760

193

194

-1

Twin Falls

62,590

63,540

195

195

Eureka

59,660

60,900

197

196

+1

San Angelo

53,110

54,980

198

197

+1

Casper-Riverton

53,100

54,340

196

198

-2

Cheyenne-Scottsbluff

54,380

54,120

199

199

Mankato

51,290

52,230

199

200

-1

Ottumwa-Kirksville

51,290

51,270

201

201

St. Joseph

46,390

46,840

203

202

+1

Fairbanks

32,550

37,110

202

203

-1

Zanesville

33,360

32,550

205

204

+1

Presque Isle

30,860

31,270

204

205

-1

Victoria

31,080

31,260

206

206

Helena

26,360

27,040

207

207

Juneau

24,170

25,250

208

208

Alpena

17,510

17,520

209

209

North Platte

15,640

15,250

210

210

Glendive

3,890

3,940


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3 Comments on “A Bevy of Hurricanes Prompts Weathergasms O’Plenty, The Memphis Market Continues to Shrink and Some Observations”

  1. Doug Johnson Says:

    Don’t know what it means, but the first few markets I worked in (Casper, Savannah, Wilmington, Hattiesburg, Gainesville & Memphis) have all dropped in market size since I left them. The last two (Nashville & Atlanta) have grown.

    Did my long-term judgment improve as my career went on? Doubtful. However, I feel I must point out that I was on-air in the first 6 markets, but off-air in the final two. Was my being on camera somehow detrimental to the success of those cities? I shudder to think.

  2. Ferd Says:

    Joe,

    I, Wait a minute as I picture Doug on a Cold moring in Casper WY. Anyway, I believe the change is more to do with WBBJ and the Jackson market fighting to grab market population from Memphis. BBJ went up 1. Bakktel inJackson has been trying to muscle in on outside of Shelby cable viewers in West TN. Interestingly Clear Cannel with TV 16 has been doing the same. They switched !6 from CW (like the sister TV-30 in Memphis) to FOX and cut out WHBQ from a lot of prime time programs in west Tennessee cable.

    Another note, Jonesboro and Paducah-Cape Girardeau went up 1 as well. With three surrounding markets increasing, it seesm to me that Memphis might’ve added with the three surrounding ones fighting and getting the fringe county(ies) viewers.

    Back to Doug ….. Doug, wasn’t it cold up there in Casper??? I mean a few miles outside of town and your’re in the middle of nowhere.

  3. Blake Says:

    I worked at WBBJ when we were market 181. We started doing more DMA stories making an effort to leave Jackson as much as possible, specifically targeting Gibson County. Soon after I left, Gibson bacame part of Jackson’s DMA. Memphis stopped doing news outside of the counties that touch Shelby. If you want to grow your DMA, you need to get ouside of Memphis and do stories. (You know, like what you, Tommy and Doug used to do back in the day.) Memphis stations are to scared to miss a Memphis shooting to risk a crew going outside the city but it is killing the DMA. Meanwhile Jonesboro, Cape and Jackson are doing the DMA beat and winning. It is up to Memphis news directors to decide wether they want to grow their market size or are comfortable with their shrinking market size. I know the small markets appreciate their lack of effort.


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