Media Blog

“Geraldo at Large” Gaining on the Big Three Nightly News Shows

The upcoming elections have all of us here at NR busy keeping tabs on various races, so most of our interoffice e-mails are averaging one (usually misspelled) word, down from the usual two or three. Earlier, Greg Pollowitz sent me a link to the following story, along with the word, ”hilarious“:

November 6, 2006 — DON’T look now, but a new audience is finding Geraldo Rivera.
Geraldo At Large,” his nightly news magazine that airs in New York opposite the three network newscast, is picking up steam.
In the past two weeks, “Geraldo At Large” is drawing more viewers in New York than the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” among TV news’ biggest audience – adults 25 to 54 years old.
And he is thisclose (11,000 viewers) to catching the “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”
Since mid-October, he has beaten both newscasts in TV’s most-sought after group – adults 18 to 49.
Geraldo has a theory about why, after a year on the air, his news show has done so well.
“All the lampooning of me by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Jay Leno, all the Geraldo jokes have, ironically, brought a younger audience to us,” he says.
“I’ve been lampooned on ’Saturday Night Live’ for four decades now. ‘Triumph’ even has a Geraldo bit,” he says about Robert Smigel’s cigar-chomping “Insult Comic” dog puppet.
“But it’s working in ways the purveyors of the comedic hits never imagined,” he says. “It’s making people aware that we’re on.
“I love Katie,” he says, “and I think all the anchors do a good job, but the numbers don’t lie.”
Behind the scenes, people in TV news see the Geraldo show as a precursor to a full, Fox News Channel-produced nightly newscast on the broadcast network one that would compete directly with Katie, Brian and ABC’s Charles Gibson.
But this show is doing well enough that plans for a more traditional newscast may be shelved.

My own one-word description: ironic.

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