Inqlings: Millions saw Phils' parade

Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) at the Edgar Allan Poe House with young fans Isabel (left) and Allie Virilli.
Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) at the Edgar Allan Poe House with young fans Isabel (left) and Allie Virilli.
Posted: November 04, 2008

With the possible exception of SEPTA employees stuck at work, not too many people missed Friday's Phillies World Series parade.

Take the police crowd estimate of two million people, and add 827,000 people who Nielsen Media Research estimates saw it on TV - a ratings bonanza for the five stations that covered it. Viewership from noon to 5 p.m. was reported up 24 percent over a typical Friday afternoon.

Ratings leader, by a landslide, was WPVI (Channel 6), which drew an estimated 354,000 watchers ages 2 and older, more than 21/2 times its usual audience. That was 43 percent of those tuned in to the parade.

There was not much difference among other stations' audiences. Fox29 drew 131,000 viewers; Comcast SportsNet, 122,000; CBS3, 114,000; and NBC10, 106,000. Compared with a usual October Friday, ratings doubled for Fox29, nearly tripled for CBS3, and rose by 50 percent for NBC10. As for SportsNet - wow. Contrast its audience of 122,000 to that of a typical Friday afternoon: an estimated 7,400 persons.

Many outlets reran all or part of the parade, though probably not Chase Utley's entire speech.

Big deal for Smerconish?

Radio life looks good for Michael Smerconish. The WPHT (1210) morning host, who also columnizes for The Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, had been raising suspicions that he'll bail on radio at the end of his CBS contract in December. Smerconish has a deal with MSNBC, and he's a frequent fill-in and guest.

I hear that CBS is working on a capital idea to keep Smerconish in Bala and give him a voice in the Washington market. CBS is planning to rework WPGC-AM in suburban Baltimore into a talk station that also will be called "The Big Talker."

Smerconish and the syndicated Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck are among WPHT voices that will be heard on the new station, whose sign-on has not been announced.

Neither Smerconish nor management would discuss.

More radio activity

WNUW (97.5), which started Christmas music at 5 p.m. Friday, returned to regular light-rock programming at noon yesterday, with an eye toward doing Christmas music only at night. But program director Don Gosselin says he was swamped with requests, so the station reverted to Christmas tunes, effective at 5 p.m.

Thursday's AIR Awards will honor Howard Eskin of WIP with its Lifetime Achievement Award and Natalie Conner of WXTU with its Broadcast Leadership Award. Milestone awards will go to Bob Craig, "Don Juan" Banks, Brenda Jorett, Chris Wheeler and Andre Gardner.

Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) did the town over Halloween, courtesy of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. At the Edgar Allan Poe House, she read "The Raven," revising the ending to say that the Phillies will be champions for "evermore."

Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter, Jimmy Rollins, Debra Messing and Morgan Fairchild stumped for Barack Obama at La Salle U yesterday. Rendell sent Rollins to the mic. "You put a lot of pressure on me to speak first," Rollins said. "You always bat leadoff," Rendell replied. Fairchild and Messing later flanked Rendell, who said, "We have diversity: a blonde, a redhead and a brunette."

Contact Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or


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