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

Channel 6's 9 p.m. newscast was the only wall-to-wall coverage at the launch of an interesting night.

And that helped it edge out Channel 4 for the largest audience of the night, according to overnight numbers from Nielsen Media Research.

The Fox affiliate's 9 o'clock news pulled in 67,635  southeast Wisconsin households, compared to Channel 4's 66,733. In the other measure of the audience, Channel 6 at 9 had a 12 percent "share" of TVs that were on at the time. At 10, when there are slightly fewer homes tuned in, Channel 4's slightly smaller audience was a 13 percent share of area homes.

At 10, Channel 6 came in third behind Channel 12's 61,322 area homes

Channel 58 had nearly 23,500 homes at 10.

One election night sour note: I do have one criticism of Channel 6's generally good coverage.

Why, oh why, did the Fox station's on-screen vote totals in each of the six statewide races fail to identify the candidates' party affiliations? At least tell viewers which one was the incumbent (since all six incumbents were Republicans).

It was a basic flaw that sent me to other channels, all of which labeled the races in a better way.

Clear Channel's traffic shuffle: A shakeup in Clear Channel's "Total Traffic Network" in Milwaukee and Madison has brought Mark Richards back to Milwaukee's air. The former WMIL-FM (106.1) voice will do afternoon and evening traffic on Clear Channel's Milwaukee stations.

Morning on-air traffic will be handled by veteran Dick Alpert, who has ended his four-and-a-half year run in the mornings on Madison's WIBA-AM.

Clear Channel does traffic on WISN-AM (1130); WOKY-AM 920;WRNW-FM (97.3), better known as Radio Now; WKKV-FM (100.7); and Channel 6.

Alpert, who has been named director of the traffic operations in the two Wisconsin markets, has been able to move back home to Milwaukee.

He says, "After being in the business for over 30 years, it’s OK to be a bit behind the scenes."

On TV: TBS has axed George Lopez's 11 p.m. nightly talk show because of ratings. His final show airs tonight. This has been the buzz for a while now that his show was doomed, but the cable channel finally made it official on Wednesday.

  • Speaking of buzz, it's been an open secret that Jennifer Lopez was returning for judging duties on Fox's top-rated "American Idol." Now it's finally official.
  •'s James Hibberd reports CBS may be bringing back "Bewitched."
  • NBC has secured the first network sitdown with Dick Cheney, as the former veep peddles his memoirs. He'll be on "Dateline" Aug. 29, and then "Today," on the 30th, the day the book is available.

Stephen Colbert's political ad: Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert is continuing his mockery of the political system with his endorsement of Rick Parry (no, not Texas Gov. Rick Perry) in this weekend's Iowa Straw Poll.

Here's his on-line ad backing the non-existent candidate.

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.