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Media Matters

The folks at WHO-TV Channel 13 are boasting about the results of a ratings estimate by the Nielsen Media Research, showing that the NBC affiliate is closing in on leader KCCI-TV Channel 8 in the all-important 10 p.m. news category. The study shows that “Channel 13 News at Ten” achieved significant audience gains in November and is now within 1.7 ratings points of first place KCCI-TV in the coveted adult 25-54 category. WHO-TV earned a 7.7 rating while KCCI-TV had a rating of 9.4. A rating is the percentage of all TV households in the Des Moines-Ames market area tuned to a particular program. A 7.7 rating means 7.7 of all people (those with at least one TV) between the ages of 25 and 54 watched Channel 13. The increase, WHO-TV officials says, also shows that Channel 13 has cut Channel 8’s lead by nearly 65 percent since November of 2005. …

… We’re told last week The Des Moines Register called a company-wide meeting at the downtown Marriott Hotel. The last time that happened, a former Register employee tells us, the paper was announcing the closing of all but one of its Press Citizen products. Though we haven’t heard of any such major announcement, one source tells us that reporters were told by the Register’s brass on the same day to cut back on overtime, because the company would no longer pay it. That information is consistent with what we’ve heard in recent months about the alleged decline in staffing levels in The Register newsroom and the paper’s move to focus more on online content. One Register reporter tells our source that the news department is conceding some important metro beats because “it doesn’t have the manpower to maintain them.” …

… Speaking of former Register reporters, Jay Wagner has launched his own Web site, Essential Iowa [], which he bills as “Iowa’s Online Regional Magazine.” Wagner is a Sibley native who got his start in the newspaper business writing and editing his father’s newspaper, The N’West Iowa REVIEW in Sheldon for eight years before working at The Register for six years and The Iowan Magazine for five years. He also served as the editorial director of Cityview and The Des Moines Business Record when both newspapers were under the ownership of Business Publications Corp. Since then, he has been working as a freelance author and has penned stories for a variety of publications including Newsweek and The New York Times. Essential Iowa, Wagner writes, “is geared toward people who have an infinite love for the state and are interested in exploring hidden treasures around the state.” CV


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