Readers of this column ask me all the time about the overabundance of local television news here. Why so much?
While every market is different for an overabundance of reasons, it's true there's a lot of local news on our airwaves, especially for this size market — not that market size is the deciding factor.
Using the Nielsen rankings for designated market areas (DMA), we'll compare the Naples/Fort Myers market (ranked 62) with the one just above it (Knoxville, Tenn. at 61) and the one just below it (Dayton, Ohio at 63).
For the record, we are not counting local news channels carried on digital subchannels.
On three of the Knoxville stations — WATE (ABC), WVLT (CBS) and WBIR (NBC) — the early morning news begins at 4:30 a.m. Same goes in Dayton. WDTN (NBC), WKEF (ABC) and WHIO (CBS) all begin their early morning news at 4:30 a.m. In comparison, in our market only NBC 2 begins its news at 4:30 a.m.
WTNZ and WRGT, the Fox affiliates in Knoxville and Dayton respectively, both start their news at 7 a.m. and both are produced by other stations in the market. Neither market's CW affiliates have local morning news.
None of the stations in Knoxville or Dayton have morning news that extends beyond 9 a.m.
So how do we compare? Knoxville and Dayton have 9.5 hours of local morning news, excluding network morning show breaks; Southwest Florida has 13 hours — including the 9 a.m. hour on ABC 7 and the 10 a.m. half-hour on WINK.
And at midday? Only two Knoxville stations, WVLT and WBIR have noon newscasts. Both are half an hour.
In Dayton, only WHIO has a noon newscast. WDTN has a local magazine show during the noon hour. For argument's sake, let's count that.
In Southwest Florida, we have three hours of local midday news — an hour on WINK at noon and two hours on NBC 2 beginning at 11 a.m.
Totals so far: Knoxville 10.5 hours; Dayton, 11; Southwest Florida, 16.
Moving into early evening, only one station has a newscast at 4 p.m. in Knoxville, WVLT. And while they also have a 5 p.m. newscast, they do not have local news at 5:30 p.m., instead bridging their 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts with "Inside Edition."
WATE and WBIR have news from 5 to 6:30 p.m. None of the Knoxville stations has news at 7 p.m.
In Dayton, none of the stations have a 4 p.m. newscast. WDTN and WHIO have news from 5 to 6:30. WKEF only has a 6 p.m. newscast and WRGT has a half-hour at 6:30. There's no local 7 p.m. news in Dayton.
So evening totals are Knoxville with 5 hours; Dayton, 3 hours; and Southwest Florida — with two 4 p.m. hours and two 7 p.m. newscasts — comes in with a whopping 8.5 hours of local evening news.
So before primetime even begins, we have more that 10 hours more local news that our closest competitor in this market comparison.
In Knoxville and Dayton, the ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates all have 11 p.m. half hours. Both Fox affiliates have an hour at 10 p.m., and the CW affiliates have a half-hour each.
So each market has 3 hours of late news; which we counter with an additional hour.
So, totals for the entire day? Knoxville, 18 hours; Dayton: 17 hours; Southwest Florida, 28.5 hours.
What does this prove? Only that this is a great place for local news junkies.
Animal Planet plays host to 'the Oscars' for animals
Celebrate the stand-out feature films, documentaries and TV shows that raised awareness of animal protection issues in the Humane Society's 26th Genesis Awards Television Special, airing at 4 p.m., tonight (May 5) on Animal Planet — with an 8 a.m., Sunday, encore.
The show will be hosted by "Dancing with the Stars' " Carrie Ann Inaba, with a little help from Uggie, the canine hero from the Academy Award-winning film "The Artist."
ABC has 'General Hospital' on life support
As fans no doubt already know, "General Hospital," ABC's only remaining soap opera will live on — at least for another year.
Is this a renewed sense of confidence in the genre? Hardly. Two factors are at play here. The soap will be celebrating its 50th year, and, the ABC daytime lineup has bigger issues to deal with.
As I mentioned in an earlier column, ABC is giving an hour back to affiliates this fall, and the heir apparent is Katie Couric's new syndicated daytime talker.
While ABC's "The Chew" has had solid ratings, and greatly reduced production costs compared to "All My Children," "The Revolution" is performing poorly for the network.
As of July 7, "The Revolution" will not be televised. This fall, "Hospital" will inherit its timeslot. But it's the experiment that will run until then that should have soap fans worried. ABC will try out an afternoon edition of "Good Morning America."
If "GMA In The Afternoon" gets solid numbers, "GH" may not live to see 51.
NBC may follow suit. In a recent deal (read generous contract) to retain Matt Lauer, the network wants him for another hour. What could that look like? Maybe another hour of "Today" and no "Days of Our Lives," that's what.
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.