WNYW looks to revive sagging ratings
WNYW is mounting a massive overhaul of its flagship ayem broadcast “Good Day New York,” radically remaking virtually every element of the struggling show in a bid to shore up its sagging ratings.
The biggest change: Jim Ryan, who’s been anchoring the eye-opener solo, will now have a co-host — former KABC weekend anchor/weathercaster Maria Genero. Genero starts Sept. 21, the same day the station unveils a completely redesigned “Good Day.”
WNYW general manager Michael Wach, who joined the station earlier this year, is spearheading the makeover, along with veteran “Good Day” exec producer Gail Yancosek. With the show’s ratings taking a major nosedive in the past year, radical change was Wach’s only logical option.
“(‘Good Day’) didn’t change with the times, and it faltered and lost a lot of the audience it once had,” Wach told Daily Variety.
Among the new elements planned:
- Esther Pierre has been added as a roving field reporter.
- More interaction between the on-air staff and a yet-to-be hired helicopter traffic correspondent.
- The show will now originate from WNYW’s “10 O’Clock News” set. New graphics, new music and a reworked “Good Day” theme will also be introduced.
- WNYW vet David Shenfeld has returned to the broadcast as a senior producer.
Genero will be a key element of the reworked broadcast.
“She brings a new element, an element of a morning team the station has never had before,” Wach said. “She understands live television.”
Other changes and staff additions are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, though Wach declined to discuss further details Tuesday.
While “Good Day” was once an ayem powerhouse in New York — beating out NBC’s “Today” and every other network morning show during one sweeps period four years ago — the franchise has grown tired in recent years, with viewers fleeing in droves.
Part of the problem: With the introduction of a street-level studio, “Today” became more of a local New York broadcast, siphoning off viewers who had turned to “Good Day” for Gotham flavor.
During the most recent May ratings sweeps, “Good Day” averaged a 3.3 rating/11 share — down 20% from May 1997 (4.1/13) and 23% from May 1996 (4.3/15).