Big news over at Fox 4: The station's newscasts are now being broadcast in HD.
The week before Christmas the station debuted a new graphics package to go with the upgrade.
While this is a much needed improvement for the station, I must admit that the new HD signal brings out a lot of flaws in the station's news set. Here's hoping they will be able to invest in some more improvements in the very near future.
WFTX is the last station in the market to convert to an HD signal.
Because of the holidays, I was unable to get any comments from the station. But it's a conversation that will continue.
NBC 2 wins big
Darrel Lieze-Adams, executive news director at Waterman Broadcasting (operators of NBC 2 and ABC 7), passed along some impressive, astonishing actually, ratings numbers from November.
Would you believe that "NBC 2 News" was the highest rated 6 p.m. local newscast in the state of Florida during the month of November? Yes. Also, "NBC Nightly News" was the highest rated national newscast at 6:30 p.m. for the entire state.
"The domination continues at 7 p.m. where WBBH ranks No. 1 nationally of all metered markets in pre-primetime audience delivery with 'Wheel of Fortune' and 'Jeopardy!' " the news release continued.
Some other highlights from NBC 2:
■ NBC 2 wins 5 a.m., locally with a 3 rating/14 share delivering as many people ages 25-54 as all other local newscasts combined.
■ NBC 2 wins 6 a.m. with a 6 rating/ 20 share, delivering twice as many people ages 25-54 as its closest competitor.
■ "Today" wins with a 8 rating/21 share, delivering as many viewers as "CBS This Morning" and ABC's "Good Morning America" combined in the Fort Myers market.
■ NBC 2 wins 4 p.m. with a 4 rating/8 share.
■ NBC 2 wins 5 p.m. with a 5 rating/10 share.
■ NBC2 wins 5:30 p.m. with a 7 rating/12 share, delivering as many people ages 25-54 as all other local newscasts combined.
■ NBC2 wins 6 p.m. with a 10 rating/18 share
■ "The Tonight Show" wins at 11:30 p.m. making WBBH No. 1 in ratings among metered markets in the state of Florida in the time period.
This isn't the first time that NBC has pulled some unbelievable numbers from the Sunshine State. You'll recall in August NBC's numbers for the Olympic opening ceremonies showed that Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV tied with Washington D.C. affiliate WRC for second place nationwide. Both stations had 26.8 ratings points and 48 share in their respective markets.
In the Southwest Florida market, Fort Myers tied with Austin, Texas, for 18th place with a 23.9/43 share rating. For Saturday, the first full day of competitions, Fort Myers ranked 5th while no other South Florida stations made it into the top 20.
Good news for ABC 7
The Waterman news release also contained some good news for sister-station ABC 7, which "becomes Southwest Florida's fastest growing news (station) during the month of November 2012, according to Nielsen Media Research data.""ABC7 News" at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. saw growth after just one year on the air. Further, said the Waterman release, " 'ABC7 News' at 5 p.m. delivers twice as many people 25-54 as nearest competitor WINK News."
The station also made gains in nearly every time period for which it broadcasts local news, including early morning, 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Abandoning the 'Rock'
Word is that "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams will begin to distance himself from the network's struggling "Rock Center."
The show is moving from 10 p.m., Thursday, to 10 p.m., Friday and has struggled in the national ratings since its inception.
Look for other NBC talent to start anchoring the show.
Soap fans win, too
January marks the one-year anniversary since "One Life to Live" left ABC. "All My Children" has been MIA for even longer.
But as Deadline reports, Prospect Park — the entertainment production company that bought the rights to both shows — has not given up plans to resurrect the soaps.
Prospect hopes to bring the shows back in a half-hour format, four days a week, with a recap on Friday.
As previously reported, the shows will be Internet based. But the company hasn't ruled out a secondary broadcast window. We'll keep you posted.
And that's not all. In other soap news …
Former "General Hospital" heartthrob Steve Burton will next surface on "The Young and the Restless."
Daytime Confidential speculates he will play Avery's ex, Dylan McAvoy, who is a presumed-dead war vet. That could throw a wrench into the Avery-and-Nick romance.
Send your questions my way: email@example.com.
Until next time, stay tuned.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.