Folksy TV shrink Dr. Phil has had a therapeutic effect on KCBS (Channel 2)'s afternoon ratings since the station grabbed him from rival KNBC (Channel 4) earlier this month.


Since snaring Phil McGraw's syndicated psychological gabfest from KNBC Sept. 12, KCBS has seen its ratings in the 4 p.m. weekday slot more than double, according to Nielsen Media Research. After it replaced its 4 p.m. newscast with Dr. Phil's show, KCBS' market share jumped to 3.6 from 1.6 and the number of households viewing increased to 195,000 from 89,000.


The Viacom Inc.-owned station landed the TV therapist after KNBC objected to an increase in license fees from $185,000 to $225,000 per week, according to the trade journal Broadcasting & Cable. Officials from the two stations and the Dr. Phil show declined to confirm the report.


KCBS has been heavily promoting its addition of Dr. Phil, featuring the former Oprah Winfrey sidekick on its newscasts and advertising. KCBS sister station KCAL (Channel 9) will carry reruns of the Dr. Phil show at 7 p.m. a week after they broadcast.


What Dr. Phil hasn't accomplished for the station is carrying over his audience for the station's 5 p.m. newscast. KCBS's 5 p.m. rating was 2.1, behind KNBC's 2.2 and KABC's market-leading 3.5, according to figures for Sept. 14.


Mike Nelson, a spokesman for KCBS and KCAL, declined to comment on the early rating numbers for Dr. Phil or the newscast, saying that it's too early to draw conclusions. But Nelson noted that the show is a coup for the two stations.


"It's the second-highest-rated show in syndicated television, behind Oprah," he said. "It's a major acquisition for us."


McGraw's 4 p.m. successor on KNBC, Ellen Degeneres, has only brought in 110,000 households, compared with 195,000 for Phil on KCBS. But KNBC Vice President Ginger Zumaeta said Degeneres'' program has drawn more young women viewers than Dr. Phil and has been a strong lead-in to the station's 5 p.m. newscast.


Although KCBS's nonstop promotion of the Dr. Phil show appears to be bringing in ratings, it's also drawing criticism from some quarters. Ron Fineman, whose On the Record Web site reports on television news, accuses KCBS of selling out its news values by having its reporters conduct softball interviews with McGraw.


According to Fineman's site, KCBS spiked an interview anchor Laura Diaz conducted with McGraw after concluding that the tone was not laudatory enough. KCBS and the Dr. Phil show declined to comment on the report.


Powering Up
For three years, Power magazine has been chronicling the lifestyles of the rich and powerful through its Web site, www.powermagazines.com. Next year, the Beverly Hills-based virtual publication will join other glossies documenting the high life on the newsstand.


Power, which is subtitled "Profiles of Fame and Fortune," is launching its print edition in March 2006. Managing Editor Michael Clements did not say how many copies of its inaugural issue Power plans to distribute, or whether most copies will be given away for free or sold.


Clements and Editor-in-Chief Loraine Jarblum acknowledged that Power would enter a competitive marketplace increasingly stuffed with glossy titles venerating wealth, power and style. But they said Power would distinguish itself by having a more global perspective, as opposed to local or national titles that appeal to similar audiences.


"The truly powerful and connected are constantly on the go and want to know what's hot not only in Los Angeles and New York, but also in Tokyo, Shanghai, London, Monaco and Rio," Jarblum said in e-mail.


Meanwhile, another glossy lifestyle title this one with a distinctly local flavor is celebrating its first anniversary. Calabasas magazine, which is based in the wealthy San Fernando Valley enclave, debuted in October 2004 with a press run of 20,000 and now publishes 50,000 copies every other month, according to the magazine's publishers. (Calabasas is not a client of the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which audits circulation numbers.)


Calabasas' publishers, Rich Bleiweiss and Neil Adelman, say that the magazine has been profitable since its second issue, although they did not provide revenue numbers.


Sporting Chance
Sports USA Radio Network, the play-by-play broadcaster founded in 1998 by L.A. sports personality Larry Kahn, has added its biggest name to date to its lineup: former UCLA Bruins coach Terry Donahue.


The network, which is based in Simi Valley, broadcasts a national college football "Game of the Week" and a pair of the NFL's major matches each Sunday throughout the football season. Donahue will provide analysis on NFL broadcasts.


Kahn, who did play-by-play for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the USC Trojans before founding his own company, said the addition of Donahue, who led the Bruins to 13 bowl games and five conference titles, helps round out his broadcast operation.


In a conference call, Donahue said he's excited to get back into college sports, this time as a broadcaster rather than a coach. Donahue most recently served as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers.


"I've been involved in pro football the last six years and college for 30 years so it was a good chance for me to go to some great venues, watch some outstanding teams play, and stay involved in the game of football," Donahue said.


Brawny Account
La Agencia de Orci & Asociados, the L.A.-based Hispanic advertising powerhouse, has landed Georgia Pacific Corp.'s venerable Brawny brand of paper towels and napkins as a client, the companies announced.


Orci will handle Brawn's new campaign to reach out to Hispanic consumers, both in Spanish and English, the advertising agency said. Orci and Georgia Pacific would not disclose the value of the account.


*Staff reporter James Nash can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 230, or at jnash@labusinessjournal.com .

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