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Date Posted: 22:39:07 07/06/12 Fri
Author: JM
Subject: Re: Why did they change WIIC?
In reply to: mikesilverstein 's message, "Re: Why did they change WIIC?" on 12:42:35 07/06/12 Fri

I remember that one. Channel 11 always got lousy news ratings and made a big effort to correct that.

They did market research on the perception viewers had of the stations. When asked what they thought of if someone mentioned Channel 2, people said Bill Burns. Asked the same question about Channel 4, people said Paul Long and Joe DeNardo. When asked about Channel 11, people would respond, "Studio Wrestling and Chiller Theater."

So management took those results and determined they needed to kill Studio Wrestling and Chiller Theater. They started moving the time of the wrestling show so it was earlier, breaking the long-standing Saturday evening habit. Then they put it in a spot where it was often pre-empted or curtailed by NBC sports programming. Then they put it at 1 p.m. and insisted that it be taped. They succeeded in killing the show, and wrestling moved to Channel 53 in 1974.

"Chiller" was a little more resilient. They changed the name to the "Saturday Late Show." Bill Cardille was still the host, but the first movie of the double feature was no longer a "chiller" but was a standard movie. The second movie, which didn't get on until 1 or 2 a.m. was the standard "Chiller" fare. The show endured, though, and came back to its usual format. It actually got a second life when it went to the castle setting and the cast of characters.

So they killed two popular, marketable shows and still got lousy news ratings. It's amazing how some people in broadcast management think.

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