Taking in the ‘sweeps’ smell of ratings success

Just randomly channel surfing the local evening news during the important November “sweeps period.”

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… Our top story: Security at GJ Regional Airport, where our investigative team discovered several potential security flaws. Tonight, we’ll show you in exact detail how a terrorist could cause widescale death and destruction. Are you in danger? You will be after this three-part series ...

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….Welcome to western Colorado’s number one ranked news station. Our top story involves the release of new ratings data, which show we’re still number one at both 10 p.m. and 5 …

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… Good evening. Thank you for not changing the channel after “CSI.” Tonight we examine reports of alleged places of prostitution on North Avenue. Are sex-starved men flocking to houses of ill repute in desperate attempts to satisfy their lusty desires?

Did we catch your husband on camera secretly entering one of these massage parlors?

Do we have your attention yet? ...

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... Thanks, Chuck. I’m reporting live here from GJ Regional Airport, where, as you can see behind me, several cars are illegally parked directly in front of the terminal. Are there explosives inside these vehicles? How about a nuclear bomb or anthrax? We filmed the interior of these cars and you’ll be shocked by our findings. Well, OK, maybe “shocked” is too strong a word. To be honest, we found no evidence of any terrorism whatsoever. But if we had, we’d probably win several important journalism awards ...

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… It’s time now for meteorologist Jonathon Smith’s Exclusive First Warn Super Radar Watch Accu-Double Doppler Early Alert Weather Forecast …

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… We wanted to send a male reporter out undercover to local massage parlors to see if he would be propositioned for something more illicit. After winning the office drawing, lucky reporter Trent Williams scored the assignment and joins us live from North Avenue …

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… And, Chuck, while we may not have uncovered any al-Qaida activity, the threat of terrorism at GJ Regional remains very real. Via satellite phone, I was able to reach Osama Bin Laden, who told us: “For maximum destruction, we wish to kill the American infidels by attacking high-profile targets, such as the White House, the Empire State Building and a loading zone at an airport in Grand Junction, Colorado.” ...

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… Now let’s go to the national forecast. As you can see on this large map behind me, there is a big letter “H” hovering above Oklahoma. Over here in Kentucky, we see a big “L” and several blue arrows. Not sure what all this means …

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... So, what have we learned from our undercover prostitution investigation? Well, first off, if you’re going to conduct an undercover investigation, you should definitely take off your name tag. I won’t make that mistake again …

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... Bin Laden went on to tell me that an earlier plan to attack the GJ Regional Airport was scrapped after an al-Qaida operative arrived at the airport late on a Sunday night, and, quote: “couldn’t find any infidels to kill.” ...

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... We have breaking news to report. Ratings for the morning newscasts have just been released, and it appears we’ve won nearly all demographics. We go now to live team coverage ...

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… Another thing we’ve learned during the course of this investigation is that there is a growing prostitution problem in the Grand Valley. Lastly, we’ve learned that Doris, the accountant here at the station, will give you the third degree if you turn in an expense report that includes the phrase “sensual massage.” ...

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... As part of our “Watch and Win” contest, we’re giving away 10 large flat-screen TVs all week long. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old and a current participant in the Nielsen ratings survey ...

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... We’re joined now again by meteorologist Jonathon Smith. Jonathon, have there been any changes in the weather since your last update 45 seconds ago? ...

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…That will wrap it up. Thanks for tuning in, but before we go: Is there a giant meteor headed toward us that will soon kill everyone in Grand Junction? Find out the answer tomorrow night ...

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