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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

The Olympics are winning big in Wisconsin.

Milwaukee loves the Olympics


When ESPN's Darren Rovell reported on Twitter Monday that Milwaukee held the largest TV audience for the Olympics, it came at little surprise.

On a normal schedule, WTMJ-TV Ch. 4 is often a close No. 2 in Milwaukee in the ratings – if it isn't first – in evening newscasts. When it broadcasts an event, like the Olympics or a pre-season Packers game, it can easily swing to first place.

When I looked at the overnight ratings in this market on a daily basis as part of my job, it was interesting to track exactly what would convince viewers to watch. When it comes down to it, often content is truly king and can garner the largest audience.

In Milwaukee, we are a little different than the rest of the nation when it comes to TV viewership. In population size, Milwaukee ranks No. 37 in TV markets; New York is No. 1. But, because of an older skewing demographic – and tradition, really – when an event happens, more of us here tune into over-the-air stations. In other markets, a larger percentage of people tend to get their information from multiple sources.

Say what you will about NBC's decisions on tape delay and which programming is on what channel, in Milwaukee at least they are winning the ratings battle. And, WTMJ is out-performing the other NBC stations across the nation for market share.

CRITICS UNITE: The criticism of NBC's streaming and programming decisions has been a steady flow on social media sites. Critics even got together and started using #NBCfail as a hashtag on Twitter. One critic even got kicked off of Twitter by revealing the email address of NBC's programming chief, encouraging people to share their complaints. I guess that was against the privacy rules.

WISCONSIN MINDED: If you want to follow all of the results of athletes with a Wisconsin connection,WTMJ has a page on its site here you can track. Be warned, it may get updated before the event is shown or reported on TV. Consider this your spoiler alert.

GOING TO SACRAMENTO: WISN-TV's News Director Lori Waldon announced today that she is heading back to California to be the news director at KCRA-TV in Sacramento.

"Lori has done an excellent job in leading the 12 News Team," said Jan Wade, president and general manager at WISN 12. "Under her leadership we have earned numerous honors, done exceptional journalism and provided the viewers of southeastern Wisconsin with high-quality newscasts and reporting."

KCRA is also owned by Hearst Television, Inc., the parent company of WISN.

"It has been an honor to lead one of the finest newsrooms in this country. They are outstanding journalists and excellent storytellers, and they truly love the community they serve," Waldon said.

Before working at WISN, Waldon, a California native, worked as the assistant news director at KOVR-TV and KMAX-TV in Sacramento.

BUSINESS BATTLE: According to Nielsen Media Research, FOX Business Network's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" beat CNBC's "The Kudlow Report" for the month of July. It's the first month-long win for the show that Dobbs launched in March 2011. Before heading to FBN, Dobbs was a mainstay on CNN.

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