NBC’s “Nightly News” forced to pull national advertising from overnight repeat, could be poised to lose the next big ratings race

NBC’s “Nightly News” could be poised to lose the next big ratings race. Fuming advertisers have forced NBC to stop running their commercials during the wee hours of the night and it is expected have an impact on "Nightly" ratings. About ten NBC affiliates began airing "Nightly" between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. right around the time when Brian Williams was suspended from the broadcast two months ago and the handful of viewers tuning in at that hour have been just enough to help keep the telecast's ratings on top. While not many people watch TV at that hour, by relying on that audience to boost the overall numbers for "Nightly," NBC has been narrowly defeating its arch-rival ABC's "World News" — at one point in early March, only 11,000 viewers separated the two broadcasts. Advertisers, who had bought time during the live edition of "Nightly," were not told that their ads were running in the middle of the night and complained to NBC, requesting that their clients' ads be removed from the repeats, according to The Wall Street Journal. Starting Monday, "Nightly" rebroadcasts will only include local commercials and without national advertising, the network cannot include the overnight telecast in their national ratings report. NBC officials said that the network has not done anything wrong and was simply trying to serve "Nightly News" to as many viewers as possible, regardless of whether they’re counted by Nielsen. A network source said other NBC stations have been "inquiring" about adding the broadcast to their own late night schedules. “Like any forward-looking media organization, we have been focused on ways to reach our audience when and how they want to be reached," an NBC News rep said.  "Over the last year we have launched NBC Nightly News on VOD and Sirius XM, and we have made the broadcast available at later airings in some markets. We believed there would be an appetite for NBC Nightly News in addition to its regular timeslot, Continue Reading

Chris Christie approval ratings at all-time low, poll shows, as his 2016 decision nears

Chris Christie’s approval ratings have fallen to an all-time low, just as the New Jersey governor is thought to be readying his decision over whether to run for President. The Garden State Republican’s approval rating dropped to 30%, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released Tuesday showed, falling six percentage points from the school’s poll in April to the lowest level they’ve been since he took office. Another 55% of those polled said they disapprove of the job Christie is doing as governor. “The good news is that none of his potential presidential opponents have emerged with a decisive lead yet. The bad news is that he is the governor in a state where a sizable majority give a thumbs down to his leadership,” Krista Jenkins, the poll’s director, said in a statement. The release of the poll, which was conducted among 792 registered voters from June 15 to June 21, comes as Christie is thought to be in the final stages of deciding on a 2016 bid. Christie has repeatedly said he would decide on a run by late spring or early summer. Continue Reading

Children conceived via IVF have double the autism rates of others: study

Autism rates are twice as high for children conceived using assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization, scientists found in a new study of nearly 6 million California children. The researchers didn’t find a direct link between treatments like IVF and autism, however. They say the higher rates can be explained by the large number of multiple births or complications during pregnancy that can follow fertility treatments. For moms giving birth to just one baby, there's no increased risk of the neurodevelopmental disorder, researchers said. During IVF, doctors combine eggs and sperm in a laboratory and then implant the embryos that are formed into a woman’s uterus. To increase the chances of pregnancy, doctors will implant up to three embryos — which boosts the possibility of carrying twins or triplets. The study was a collaborative effort of researchers at Columbia University, Fordham University, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was published by the American Journal of Public Health. "While the risk of ART (assisted reproductive technology) with respect to autism appears to be largely modifiable by restricting the procedure to single-embryo transfer, more research is needed to understand the precise mechanisms by which ART and autism are linked,” author Columbia University Professor Peter Bearman said in a release. Continue Reading

DeflateGate will only pump up NFL’s TV ratings

There’s a theory running through the Valley of the Stupid, and other media precincts, that Roger Goodell will somehow find a way to make sure Tom (Tommy Balls) Brady is playing in the NFL’s Sept. 10 Thursday night opening extravaganza against the Steelers on NBC. After all, without the face of the NFL, the Super Bowl champion Patriots’ QB, a celebration of this “great game” will be significantly diminished and turned into the Jimmy (Garoppolo) Bowl. There also will be a mass exodus of eyeballs that would lower opening night ratings, which would tick off loyal NFL advertisers who would not get the usual bang for their opening night buck. Hogwash. It doesn’t matter if Brady plays, the DeflateGate story, in all its controversial splendor, will overshadow the game as it did the Super Bowl. It will sell the game, albeit in a manner that will be embarrassing to the NFL. RELATED: BRADY SAYS DEFLATEGATE SCANDAL HASN'T SPOILED SUPER BOWL WIN Nonetheless it will have absolutely no impact on NBC’s ratings. If anything it will drive them higher. This ode to Air Pressure and Air Heads, reported ever so seriously by insiders and outsiders alike, has captured the imagination of even those who do not attach a certain religiosity to the National Football League. By happenstance the NFL, with a huge assist from an obsessed media, is effectively marketing the NFL’s dark side. The unintended targets are casual fans. These particular people follow the game more for its reality-show qualities than on-field results. They love what the league has become — a freak show. Goodell might as well recognize it as the NFL’s burgeoning entertainment subsidiary. A certain kind of fool (I’m raising my hand) — and there are plenty of us — is fascinated by the sleazy underbelly of an out-of-control league, run mostly by sanctimonious billionaires. Even some of the NFL’s TV commentators are jailed Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Rockaway Beach rated top NYC beach, beating out Manhattan Beach; Wolfe’s Pond on Staten Island rated worst

Life really is a beach in Rockaway, where a “nearly impeccable” shoreline vaulted it to the top of the city’s seaside spots in a new report obtained by the News.   New Yorkers for Parks gave the Queens peninsula an A-minus rating in its survey, but fabled Coney Island received just a C-plus.   The non-profit’s “Report Card on Beaches,” which will be released Wednesday, examined eight city-run beaches last summer.   Researchers found the Coney Island/Brighton Beach shoreline littered with broken glass, though free of trash. About a third of drinking fountains were beset by low water pressure and had algae, weeds or other “unsanitary substance.”   “I think the reason to do these report cards is so that we are better informed and the public is better informed,” said Tupper Thomas, executive director of New Yorkers for Parks. “We want the city to put more money into parks and into the right places.”   The report, usually issued every two years, was delayed a year to give the city time to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Manhattan Beach earned the second spot with a B-plus, followed by Cedar Grove with a B and South Beach with a B-minus. Midland Beach and Coney Island/Brighton Beach tied for fifth place at C-plus.   Orchard Beach, rated D, was found to be “challenged.”And Wolfe’s Pond Beach in Staten Island — at rock bottom with an F — was strewn with “excessive litter or large natural debris,” and in need of sand replenishment.   Parks Department officials disagreed with parts of the report, saying the group based its rating at the Wolf’s Pond “natural beach” instead of the swimming beach, which is marked by large red flags.   “We are pleased that New Yorkers for Parks' survey noted many improvements at our beaches,” said agency spokesman Sam Biederman. “Because our beaches are Continue Reading

JetBlue, Southwest score highest customer experience ratings: poll

JetBlue, Southwest and Delta have emerged the top scoring airlines in a wide sweeping poll that asked U.S. consumers to evaluate major brands on their customer service. With an overall score of 75%, JetBlue Airlines received the highest mark among airlines in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings which polled 10,000 U.S. respondents on 293 consumer brands. In the ratings, a score of 70% is considered “good,” while anything above 80% is considered “excellent.” Overall, the airline industry averaged 69% in the 2015 Temkin Experience. For the ranking, consumers were asked to evaluate brands based on three criteria: success (can you do what you want to do?); effort (how easy is it to work with the company?) and emotion (how do you feel about the interactions?). JetBlue’s performance is particularly impressive, says Temkin, as it climbed up from the middle of the pack to improve 15-percentage points from 2014. Last year, JetBlue launched a premium Mint service on transcontinental routes, offering private suites, the widest, and longest lie-flat seats in the US domestic market, flat-screen TVs, free entertainment and a self-serve station for snacks and sodas. At the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, Spirit Airlines nabbed the dubious distinction as the lowest-scoring carrier, with a 47% rating. Here’s how airlines stacked up: JetBlue Airlines 75% Southwest Airlines 72% Delta Airlines 69% Alaska Airlines 69% Virgin America 63% American Airlines 57% United Airlines 56% US Airways 55% AirTran Airways 52% Spirit Airlines 47% Continue Reading

NBC’s ‘Nightly News’ loses in ratings to ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ for first time in 5 years

NBC’s evening newscast has lost in the ratings for the first time since 2009, and the first time since anchor Brian Williams was suspended in February for telling a false story about his reporting from the Iraq War. The Nielsen company said that ABC’s “World News Tonight” averaged 8 million viewers last week, or 84,000 more than NBC’s “Nightly News.” NBC hadn’t lost a week in the evening news ratings since September 2009, a stretch of 288 consecutive weeks. It was Lester Holt’s seventh week filling in for Williams, who was suspended for six months. NBC News is conducting an internal investigation into other potentially false statements by Williams and there’s been no word on when, or if, the network’s report will be publicly released. Continue Reading

Obama touts newest jobs report showing U.S. added 223,000 jobs in April, as unemployment rate lowest in 7 years

President Obama used the positive new jobs report Friday to stick it to Republican critics who predicted Obamacare would tank the U.S. economy. A grinning Obama let loose after the Labor Department reported that employers added 223,000 jobs in April — a solid gain after a mediocre March and a strong indicator that the economy is recovering after a woeful winter. “Sixty-two months ago is when I signed the Affordable Care Act,” Obama said on a visit to Nike headquarters in Oregon. “So, obviously, it hasn't done too bad in terms of employment in this country. I just thought I'd mention that. Since there were a lot of predictions of doom and gloom.” House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican and strident Obamacare critic, conceded in a statement “the economy continues to show some signs of improvement.” But Boehner also added, “too many Americans remain out of work, and too many are working harder only to lose ground to stagnant wages and rising costs.” There was more good news for Obama and the country in the new jobs report — the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent in March, which is the lowest level since May 2008. “Today’s report argues that the economy is in decent health,” says Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman Private Banking. Obama has now presided over 62 straight months of job growth — a streak that appeared to be in jeopardy after a first quarter slowdown this year during which the U.S. economy is believed to have contracted from January through March. Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, noted that more than 200,000 jobs have been created “in thirteen of the past fourteen months, the first time that has happened since 1995.” If that trend continues, the Republicans vying to succeed Obama in the 2016 president Continue Reading

City businesses recycle trash at lower rate than expected: study

Here's a dirty little secret just in time for Earth Day — the city’s commercial recycling rate stinks. The amount of waste city businesses generate is nearly twice as high as previously reported — and it’s being recycled at a far lower rate, according to a study to be released Monday. The “Transform Don’t Trash NYC” coalition found that only about 25% of the trash produced by businesses every year is recycled. Earlier estimates of the city’s recycling rate for businesses pegged the number at 40%. A whopping 5.5 million tons of commercial waste is produced in the five boroughs each year — 2 million more than the city’s previous estimates, the study said. The green coalition — which includes the Alliance for a Greater New York, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and the Teamsters union — uncovered the eco-unfriendly stats in a 2012 Sanitation Department report by the Halcrow Group, a private consulting company, that was never released publicly. Residential recycling is handled by the city, but commercial recycling is handled through private trash haulers. The coalition found those private companies operate a “grossly inefficient and highly polluting” waste removal system that clogs city streets. In one instance, a commercial strip in Midtown was serviced by 22 different companies, according to the study. “It’s out of control. We call it the ‘Wild West,’” said Kirsti Barnes, the deputy director of Alliance for a Greater New York. By the group’s estimates, some 4,200 private waste trucks are driving around the city six nights a week. The average private hauler travels 12 miles for each ton of waste — compared with 4miles by city fleets. “We’re creating so much pollution,” said Barnes. The report offers several possible solutions that would boost commercial Continue Reading

Gonzalez: Protesters eye bogus classes used to boost graduation rates

Last spring, a teacher at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn was assigned to oversee 16 students in a single class who were seeking credit for subjects they’d previously failed. The topics included Earth science, global studies, trigonometry and English — 14 in all — yet the teacher was only certified as a math instructor. A second teacher became her own virtual high school. Records obtained by the Daily News show she was put in charge of a course titled Project Graduation. Students in the course had failed 35 different subjects, including U.S. history, geometry, living environment, Earth science, global studies, algebra, art and Spanish. But the teacher’s license was for special education. How is it possible to teach so many subjects simultaneously — all outside your expertise? Well, it’s not. Pupils assigned to Project Graduation simply had to show up and fill out individual “course packets,” according to several teachers who were assigned to the course. It was part of a brazen scheme by the school’s administrators to inflate graduation rates by manufacturing bogus “credit recovery” — a practice now being probed by the school system’s office of special investigation. Just as test prep has overwhelmed elementary schools, with the politicians demanding higher standardized test scores, “credit recovery” will likely be the next big high school scandal. At Dewey, The News obtained class rosters, individual student records and school emails, and interviewed a dozen teachers who claim sham credit recovery has gone on for years. The documents show teachers were often assigned to grade students out of their expertise, supervisors altered failing grades to passing without consulting the original teacher, and students were passed without even attending class, all in violation of state and city education regulations. “What’s happening is Continue Reading