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Jay Leno's show is bad news for late news

With everyone paying attention to Dave, a little someone else got overlooked.

We speak of Jay.

"The Jay Leno Show" turns one month old Wednesday, but already, there are problems. Ratings have dipped from the premiere, of course, but of greater concern to NBC, so have the late evening news ratings.

In the first six days of October, WNBC/4 at 11 p.m. had a 2.8 rating, compared with a 5.4 rating for WCBS/2 and a 5.0 for WABC/7. Ch. 4 is in fourth place in the time period (behind Spanish-language station, WXTV) and has lost exactly one entire rating point versus October '08. Channel 2 has gained 11/2 rating points.

So what to do? Here's a modest proposal: NBC might want to consider moving "The Jay Leno Show" to 10:30, which would allow stations' late local news to air at 10.

Revolutionary? (Sure. And what was "The Jay Leno Show" supposed to be anyway?) "Leno" would still be airing opposite strong scripted programs at 10:30, but he might stand a good chance to picking up viewers at 11, thus building his lead-in for "The Tonight Show," which is also hurting big time. NBC's local news programs at 10 would add viewers, simply because there are so many more viewers around at 10. Everyone wins!

Well . . . maybe.


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