Television: Self-Defeat

To keep tabs on TV's most persistent and most boring feud, the Sunday-night duel between NBC's Steve Allen and CBS's Ed Sullivan, the TV industry checks the Monday-morning Trendex ratings and awards the battle stars to the show that captured more viewers. Last week the broadcasters learned from pulse-taker A.C. Nielsen Co. a crucial fact the viewing public knew a long time ago. As many as 14 times within the hour, Nielsen deduced, audiences switch from Sullivan to Allen and back. The average viewer remains "loyal" to one of the shows only four minutes at a stretch. The discovery makes a...

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