#ARElections: Let’s Try This Again, Shall We? Join Us for Coverage on Today’s THV Tonight

It’s deja vu all over again!

Once again, Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins and I will be on Today’s THV tonight, part of the CBS affiliate’s local election coverage.

You can catch coverage during the 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts, the latter featuring a segment with Hankins. We’ll both be aboard starting at 9 p.m. on THV’s regular network channel and its second digital channel, THV2. And of course, there will be coverage at 10 p.m. during the regular nightly newscast.

And you’ll be able to watch online. And Jeff and I will tweeting and updating ArkansasBusiness.com with analysis and news throughout the night.

We’re on Twitter at:

@JeffHankins

@LT

Hankins will be offering his analysis of the returns as they come in after polls close at 7:30 p.m., and I’ll be monitoring the online buzz and offering additional commentary. And THV reporters will be at crucial watch parties. Join us tonight and let’s get this thing over with, already.

We’re Live Right Now on THV2.com With #ARElection Results

(UPDATE: We’ve taken the live video down now that our coverage has ended. Thanks for watching!)

Click PLAY above to watch us now live on THV2.com. Jeff Hankins and I provide commentary and analysis with the THV news team as the numbers come in.

Follow us both on Twitter: @JeffHankins | @LT (See LT feed at the top of the RH rail of this site.)

Predictions: Jeff Hankins | Lance Turner

More Coverage

ArkansasBusiness.com – The latest numbers and analysis, along with breaking election news from the Associated Press. (News links also in the top LH rail of this site.)

InArkansas.com Mobile – Mobile users click here to get latest ArkansasBusiness.com news headlines in an iPhone-, Blackeberry-friendly format.

ARElections.org – Get the latest numbers from the source, as they come in.

Glass House Arkansas – A list of candidate watch parties and news sources.

#ARElections: A Sampling of Tuesday Night’s Political Coverage in Central Arkansas

With nearly 30 candidates running for Congressional seats, millions of dollars pouring into Arkansas media and plenty of national attention focusing on That U.S. Senate Race, tonight night is an Arkansas political junkie’s dream. How does one keep up with it all?

Here’s a sampling of where you can get the latest political news coverage after the polls close tomorrow night. (Any additions or updates, please let me know.)

TV

Jeff Hankins and I will be live all night on Today’s THV’s THV2, the CBS affiliate’s second digital channel. We’ll also be cutting into CBS programming throughout the night, with a big wrap-up at 10 p.m. Steve Ronnelle, president of the Political Animals Club of Central Arkansas, is among the guests.

KATV-TV, Channel 7 – The ABC affiliate pre-empts “V” at 9 p.m. with a 1-hour election special.

KARK-TV, Channel 4 – The NBC affiliate will have Bill Vickery and Pat Lynch as part of its coverage.

KLRT-TV, Channel 16 – The Fox affiliate will have Roby Brock as part of its regular, hour-long newscast at 9 p.m.

Radio

KARN-FM, 102.9Blake Rutherford and Jason Tolbert sit in with Dave Elswick for wall-t0-wall coverage. You can listen live online here. And check Twitter for live comments from Rutherford and Tolbert. (KARN listeners, please be nice to Blake.)

KUAR-FM, 89.1, (NPR in Little Rock) – Rex Nelson sits in, along with news coverage from Ron Breeding, Kelly MacNeil and the gang. Listen live online here.

Online

Again, you watch Today’s THV’s THV2 election coverage streaming live online here.

ArkansasBusiness.com – We’ll have updated analysis, as well as the latest numbers and stories from the Associated Press wire. For iPhones and Blackberries, go to m.inarkansas.com/news for those latest news headlines in a mobile-friendly format.

Arkansas Times Blog – No doubt there will be analysis from Editor Max Brantley and lots of colorful comments from readers.

ARElections.org – Returns as they come in. All the numbers, right here.

Related

On the Think Tank, Rutherford has a final pre-election media round-up of local and national coverage and commentary on today’s races.

#ARElections: I’ll Risk Looking Absolutely Ridiculous with These Election Day Predictions

Lance Turner on Today's THV

Click for a quick preview of Tuesday's races

(Video: Click here for a segment from Today’s THV This Morning Saturday on what to expect on Tuesday, Election Day, and here for a report on early voting from Saturday night.)

Earlier, I noted Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins’ election predictions. Others are weighing in with their’s as well. So how ’bout I play this fool’s game and give it shot, too? It’ll make our team coverage with Today’s THV on Election Night all the more interesting, as viewers can watch my on-air reaction — in real time on THV2.comas all my predictions crumble!

U.S. Senate, Democrat – With three candidates in this race, a runoff is certainly possible. And recent polls have shown incumbent Blanche Lincoln unable to cross the 50 percent mark to avoid one. But she leads Lt. Gov. Bill Halter by anywhere from 9-12 points.

Meanwhile, third-candidate D.C. Morrison polls with 6-7 percent of the vote.

All this leaves a big chunk of undecided votes. Which way do they fall?

I think most stand pat with the Devil They Know, Blanche Lincoln, a moderate who is just fine for conservative Arkansas. Her position at the top of a key committee, Agriculture, is also important to Arkansans.

But I also think Morrison gets his 6 percent of the vote — maybe more — with anti-incumbent voters casting ballots against Washington, against politics as usual. Some of that sentiment helps Halter, who moves some of the undecideds into his column.

But at the end of the night, Lincoln leads but doesn’t break 50, and she and Halter head for a runoff. Three. More. Weeks. Don’t ask me what happens after that.

Holt, on the stump in Sherwood

U.S. Senate, Republican – Here’s what’s been the conventional wisdom: U.S Rep. John Boozman ends up in a runoff with State Sen. Gilbert Baker, narrowly defeating his primary challenger for the No. 2 spot, Jim Holt. With everyone going to polls for sitting 3rd District Congressman Boozman in northwest Arkansas, Holt has little support left to draw from.

But: I think Tea Partiers and, again, the anti-incumbent voters come out strong for Holt. Meanwhile, voters in Baker’s home county of Faulkner will throw more weight in the Democratic primary due to Robbie Wills’ 2nd District House candidacy.

So I’m going to go out on a limb and say Holt, with little money and organization, will find himself in a three-week battle with Boozman starting Wednesday. Baker, with more money and better organization than Holt, is shut out in a squeaker. It’s gonna hurt.

U.S. House, District 1, Democrat – Tim Wooldridge and Chad Causey, the chief of staff of retiring District 1 Rep. Marion Berry, make the runoff.

U.S. House, District 2, Democrat – Arkansas House Speaker Robbie Wills finds himself in a runoff with State Sen. Joyce Elliott. David Boling, the chief of staff of retiring District 2 Rep. Vic Snyder, makes a respectable showing.

U.S. House, District 2, Republican – Tim Griffin wins outright versus Scott Wallace.

U.S. House, District 3, Republican – Steve Womack in a runoff with Cecile Bledsoe. Why not?

So there you have it. My first official go at Election Day predictions in Arkansas. For others prognostications, including a look at other races, check our friends at Blake’s Think Tank and The Tolbert Report.

Jay Leno in Little Rock: Not Bad for KARK at 10 pm

Jay Leno

The Leno Effect: Not terrible in Little Rock

The big media news today is no doubt the disaster that has been NBC’s “The Jay Leno Show,” which seems to be coming to head in the least surprising way possible. The bottom line: NBC’s experiment with Leno in primetime is a spectacular failure, forcing the third-place network to contemplate putting the former late-night king back in late night while somehow honoring its commitments with new “Tonight Show” host Conan O’Brien, himself a ratings disappointment.

Good luck with all of that.

But why all the wailing and gnashing of teeth? Leno’s primetime numbers are performing about where NBC expected — only about 5 million viewers per night. But a large audience wasn’t necessarily part of NBC’s plan. The plan was to produce a cheap nightly show that would draw a guaranteed audience, one that could easily be sold around and bring profits to the network.

The fatal flaw? Local affiliates need a strong ratings lead-in to their late local news, which in many cases is the most significant source of revenue those affiliates have. Leno’s low ratings, they complained, were driving viewers to other networks — or cable — where they were less likely to come back to the NBC affiliate’s late news.

In larger, metered TV markets — markets where the previous night’s ratings are delivered to affiliates the next morning — affiliate station general managers were watching their late news ratings drop like a brick. And many began complaining to NBC. Consider the scene in Baltimore a few months ago:

Baltimore may be called Charm City, but for WBAL — the local television station that carries NBC’s “The Jay Leno Show” — there isn’t much to smile about lately.

Usually, WBAL is in a neck-and-neck race for viewers against arch rival WJZ. But since NBC debuted “The Jay Leno Show” in prime time five weeks ago, the station’s 11 p.m. newscast — where silver-haired Rod Daniels’ 25-year run as anchor is the longest in Baltimore history — has been shellacked in the ratings. Now WBAL is a distant second.

And there was this from an NBC affiliate owner in Detroit:

Alan Frank, who runs two NBC stations including the affiliate in Detroit, told the trade publication Broadcasting & Cable over the weekend: “The handwriting is on the wall. The only question is what [NBC] is going to do about it.”

Here in Little Rock, NBC affiliate KARK-TV, Channel 4, has been running third place among most daily newscasts, including at 10 p.m. What’s the Leno Effect been like for the Nexstar Broadcasting-owned station? Advance numbers from latest November ratings book, which came out in late December, might surprise you.

It shows KARK, while still in third place, gaining audience at 10 p.m., going from a household rating/share of 5/11 in November 2008 to 6/14 last November. In fact, KARK logged bigger share gains at 10 p.m. than any of its local competitors, which each saw about a 1-point bump. Some demographic numbers (men and women 25-54) were also up slightly, as were all but one competitor.

In fact, this last November ratings period almost returned KARK to its November 2007 10 p.m. ratings level of about 6/13.

And there was another surprise looking at estimates for NBC primetime (7-10 p.m.) performance locally. Those numbers were up slightly as well, going from a 4/7 in November 2008 to 5/8 last November.

No doubt both NBC in prime and KARK at 10 p.m. have have seen stronger ratings in the past. And there are myriad factors that go into ratings, not to mention that these numbers are estimates based on paper surveys of only a sampling of the local TV audience. Still, it’s the best evidence we have, and it suggests that the Leno Effect might not be such a bad thing in Little Rock.

More on November Ratings in Little Rock

KATV, KTHV Still Tops in Latest News Ratings

More on NBC, Leno and Conan

Blame Jay Leno – Gawker

Late-Night Shift Sinking, NBC Wants Leno Back in Old Slot – New York Times

An Open Letter to NBC – Videogum

(Disclosure: I appear regularly on KTHV-TV, Channel 11, a Gannett-owned CBS affiliate that is a direct competitor to KARK and other local TV affiliates in the Little Rock market.)

The Friday Week in Review: You Lie! Edition

(via Robert Blake)

(via Robert Blake)

It’s Friday, and time for another long look back at a brutal week in politics, sports and the Web. We’re going to try for a reasoned, respectful debate here, so no shouting! But feel free to call us out in comments if we start going on about death panels. Remember: There remains some significant details to work out.

Here we go:

He’s soooo coy. Tim Griffin tells The Tolbert Report he’s seriously considering running against Vic Synder.

Kim Hendren confirms — again! — that he’s running against Blanche Lincoln just like everyone else is.

In the midst of the flap over Obama’s brainwashing speech to America’s kids, Blake Rutherford says the Republican Party has resorted to silliness. And that was before Wednesday night.

Rhett Hatcher is to iMovie as David Kinkade is to Photoshop. Artists and their canvases.

This might very well happen.

Punxsutawney Pel finally rears his head to talk about ugly sexual assault allegations involving Razorbacks basketball players but leaves the local media out of it. Meanwhile, Courtney Fortson’s tweet resurfaces (teh Internets, they don’t forget!) to add insult to injury.

Bloghawgs media baron Brett Kincaid faces off against Alice “Media Consultant * Journalist” Stewart on “Today’s THV This Morning” re: aforementioned Obama school speech tomfoolery. Punditry at its finest.

The Angry Czech on the tarnishing of The Presidential™ brand.

Rex Nelson previews his Saturday Arkansas Democrat-Gazette column. Don’t let Walter catch you giving away that free content!

There was a Twestival in Little Rock, and it raised money for Reach Out and Read Arkansas.

And

Get a Compete.com account and start running the numbers

No jacket required.

The Long Goodbye: BJ Sams Says Farewell on Friday

BJ Sams and Tom Brannon say goodbye ahead of Sams' final morning broadcast on Friday. Click for video.

BJ Sams and Tom Brannon say goodbye ahead of Sams' final morning broadcast on Friday. Click for video.

After more than 50 years in broadcasting (“Fifty-six,” he’ll remind you), BJ Sams is signing off tomorrow. His final broadcast of “Today’s THV This Morning” happens Friday.

This morning, before tomorrow’s busy farewell, he spent some final moments with his long-time “This Morning” co-host and sparring partner Tom Brannon, who commissioned a special “long-distance dedication” for his pal. Click here to see video of the segment, and be sure to check out tomorrow’s show for BJ’s final moments on air in Arkansas.

More Video

It’s been a month of tributes. Click for video of BJ with:

Alyson Courtney | Former co-host Robyn Richardson and her surprise | Chris Olsen | The Peabody Hotel | Leslie Heizman | Former co-host Beth Ward | Derrick Rose | Liz Massey | Dawn Scott | His Top 11 Quotes | Arkansas Children’s Hospital | Mark Pryor | KARK | Capital Hotel | Alyson, BJ & Tom at 6:30 p.m

See more on the Official Retirement Page

Previously

BJ Sams to retire

BJ Sams honored at Media Fellowship luncheon

Charles Crowson to co-host