TV One entering tightening Sunday AM race


Longtime Sunday morning titan “Meet the Press” (NBC) is still in the lead but appears to be losing some of its cushion over the competition. And there will be more competition in September, when cable net TV One enters the fray. The African-American oriented channel will cater to members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which recently complained of being largely shut out of the existing shows.

There are a number of possible explanations for the decline of MtP, according to Media Life Magazine. The most obvious is the absence of the late great Tim Russert, who has been replaced by David Gregory. But recent numbers may also be down due to pre-emptions in favor of NBC Sports offerings. Still, it’s the leader when it’s on, just not by as much as in the past.

“Face the Nation” (CBS) and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” are said to be in a seesaw battle for second place with the upper hand lately going to CBS, while Fox’s “Fox News Sunday” is a distant fourth.

The TV One offering will air at 11AM with a 5PM repeat, and will be hosted by CNN commentator Roland Martin and will feature a panel of regulars, including AURN’s April Ryan and Robert Traynham, who has ties to the Philadelphia Tribune and Comcast, according to the Associated Press

TV One says the inspiration for the program came from its coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, where CBC members came one after another to be interviewed at the network’s temporary Denver headquarters.

RBR/TVBR observation: We think this is a great move by TV One – it will have a guest base that is itching for exposure, and the show will give the relatively young network the chance to dramatically raise its profile by using the program to break news that all the other networks will have to cover.