Channel 10 SUNRISE Show #1 for 25-years

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


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November 2010. A milestone for sure for Frank Coletta and Channel 10 as the NBC affiliate celebrates 25-years as the #1 rated morning broadcast in Southern New England. This comes at the same time the NBC network is celebrating the Today Show’s run as the #1 morning show for 15 uninterrupted years.

Coletta, with his widely recognized coffee-cup salute, has been the only anchor on the show since it first went on the air in 1985. The show and its anchor have come a long way since then. Coletta, first started at the station in 1978 as an assignment editor. That’s the person who helps set up stories and dispatches reporters and photographers. It was a behind the scenes job – meaning no on camera work. Coletta starting his on- air reporting career in 1981 at the station. For many years Channel 10, you could always count on Coletta to still use his typewriter to pound out scripts instead of using a computer. Before he got his break in television, he worked in radio as a news man where he honed his craft of getting facts correct and reporting stories in a fair and objective manner.

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The success of the Channel 10 broadcast can be linked to many things including Coletta’s longevity and credibility as a journalist and the fact that it is the lead in to the ratings giant Today Show at 7am. Channel 10 News Director Chris Lanni telling GoLocal there are many people who were involved with getting the show off the ground, on-air and behind the scenes, that made the show a hit with viewers. “We also consciously produce the show more like radio because we are keenly aware that many fans are doing more listening than watching as they go about their morning routines” Lanni said.

In 1985, the Sunrise show started as just a 30-minute broadcast. In 1991, it expanded to an hour and in 1994 it went to 90-minutes. In its current form, it is a 2-hour broadcast. Although most stations in Boston start before 5am now, there are no known plans for Channel 10 start its news day any earlier.

Covering the Big Stories

Lanni says the Sunrise show has covered some huge stories providing the viewer with some of the market’s best news and information. He lists The Outlet Fire and Hurricane Gloria, and Hurricane Bob in 1991 as examples of how early morning television was able to cover the “big” story on a continuous basis.

Coletta stays while others come and go

Coletta has secured his spot on the top rated show over the years. Karen Reed co-anchored in 1994 and 1995 and was Frank’s only news co-anchor in the history of the show. Art Lake, a weather institution around here, provided his forecasts for the first 17-years of the show followed by GoLocalProv’s weather icon John Ghiorse and then Kelly Bates who has now been sent to weekends and replaced by Gary Ley who was once the head 6pm and 11pm meteorologist for Channel 10. Other than Coletta, you need a score-card of sorts to keep up.

Back in the 1990’s – even WPRO morning man Salty Brine would join the Sunrise crew to read snow closings.

The ratings

The ratings race in the morning is not really a race at all in this time slot. Channel 10 and Coletta easily walk away with a win. For example, here is a look at the November 2010 ratings where Channel 10 beat both 12 & 6 combined for early morning viewers. Each rating point below represents about 6,500 households in the Providence television market.

Channel 10:
8 rating

Channel 12:
3.6 rating

Channel 6:
1.0 rating

For Channel 10, the combination of the Sunrise Show and the Today Show – equals ratings gold and 25-years later Frank Coletta goes from a one time behind the scenes assignment editor to one of the station’s stars.

Jeff Derderian is a former television news reporter and anchor both in Providence and Boston. He is one of the founders of the Station Education Fund. He can be reached at [email protected]



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