By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jan 05, 2011 at 11:00 AM

I know it's already January. But the November ratings are important for Milwaukee TV stations, one of three important "sweeps" when detailed ratings are measured. (There's a July sweeps, but it's not as important as November, February and May.)

And while Channel 12 squeaked by to win the 10 p.m. news race in the broader measure of households, the detailed numbers that came out in late December show a much bigger win for the ABC affiliate when measuring the most important group of viewers, those between 25 and 54.

That's the group most frequently sold to TV advertisers. Ad sales are the primary purpose for ratings, allowing advertisers to target more specifically who they're trying to reach.

Only around 2,000 households separated first-place finisher Channel 12 from Channel 4, according to that early, broader measure.

But looking at that key demographic, Nielsen Media Research numbers show that Channel 12 posted a 5.1 rating, a 15 percent share of TVs with viewers in that group tuned to that program. Channel 4 had a 4.4 rating, a 13 percent share. Channel 6 was third with a 3.0, 9 share, and Channel 58 was fourth with a 1.3, 4 share.

Some other notes from the "demos": There's more proof that the  euthanizing of Jay Leno's prime-time show was great news for Channel 4.

While Channel 12's number one numbers were virtually unchanged November 2009 to November 2010, Channel 4 had posted a 2.9 rating/6 share in November 2009 and soared to a a 4.0 rating/10 share in November 2010.

And while Channel 12 is dominant through much of the day, as it is in the household measure, Channel 6 is stronger in the mornings among viewers 25-54.

From 5 to 6 a.m., when the big four network affiliates are doing local news, Channel 6 has a 1.8 rating/24 share, Channel 12 has a 1.3 rating/17 share, Channel 4 has a 1.0 rating/13 share, Channel 58 has an 0.1 rating/1 share.

From 6 to 7 a.m., Channel 6 has a 2.8 rating/24 share, Channel 4 has a 2.2/19 share, Channel 12 has a 2.1 rating/18 share, and Channel 58 doesn't register.

On TV: In another sign that the walls are coming down between various forms of media, Netflix says it's signed deals to have a specific button on remote controls for some new Internet-connected TVs made by Sharp, Sony and Toshiba, along with Blu-ray players from more than half a dozen manufacturers.

  • Wisconsin Republican chairman Reince Priebus got some "Daily Show" face time Tuesday night when Jon Stewart lampooned the Wisconsin Republican's bid for national GOP chair by making fun of his name. Said Stewart, "I drive a Priebus." Here's the full bit:
  • With Roger Ebert's new movie show, "At the Movies" debuting Jan. 21 on public TV, he's finally replaced original co-host Elvis Mitchell. If you don't know who Mitchell is, you're likely not to recognize 24-year-old Chicago-based Internet guy Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, who'll join AP movie critic Christy Lemire at the helm of the show.
  • MGM has partnered with Weigel Broadcasting (which owns Channel 58  and its sister channels) to market the Me-TV rerun channel around the country. The two are already partners with Weigel movie channel ThisTV (Channel 58.3).
  • Coke and Pepsi had been battling to sponsor Simon Cowell's upcoming "X Factor." Well, Pepsi won. Coke is the main sponsor of "American Idol."
  • "TMZ" has been picked up for three more years. It airs at 6:30 p.m. weeknights on Channel 6.
  • In another social media first, Soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner wants you to go to Facebook to watch the beginning of the latest session of the House, starting at 11 this morning. If it matters to you, that page is a partisan Republican outlet, not a politically neutral page for the Congress.

Give this guy a radio job: Back in the early days of my career as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago in the late 1970s, I was in a district station on the near North Side waiting for some crime report when a drunken, homeless man came up to me and asked where I worked.

When I identified City News, he began to ask me about various editors there, and how they were doing. It seems he'd been an ambitious young reporter before his career was ruined by the drink -- which made me ponder my own future.

I'm reminded of that by this video that's making the rounds about a homeless guy in Columbus, Ohio, with a top-notch radio voice. In an update to the story, the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered him a full-time job:

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.