The Final Sweeps Stunt


The May Sweeps wrapped up Yesterday and the ratings spin machine will start turning out press releases later Today.

But, as stations work hard to come up with sweeps stunts ideas for the entire month, by the end of ratings you start to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

Take WLNS in Lansing for example.

It appears the station was headed into the last week of ratings and had run out of stunts, until they figured out one more.

They decided to flip the anchors. The morning team would work the evening shift and the evening gang would be waking up early for the AM shift.

It's not hard to figure out who got the better end of that deal.

"I now have a much greater appreciation for what our morning news team does every day," said main Anchor Jane Aldrich about working the morning shift. "I also will never take for granted getting more than four hours of sleep again!"

WLNS news director Jam Sardar admitted that the move was a stunt, but then tried to give some B.S. line about how it was helping train the Anchors. The ND saysthe exercise is also about training on air talent to function at high levels during all dayparts, which is key for disaster coverage. The first day of the swap was May 20, and the morning team was suddenly reporting on the tragic Oklahoma City tornado in the early evening news. "It was great practice for them, and they handled it really well," says Sardar.

The "real" morning crew will go back to not having a life and living with with sleep deprivation again next week.

As for Sardar? Time to start dreaming up some more stunts. The July Book isn't that far off.