Word around the WCCO-TV newsroom is that great umbrage was taken over KARE11 overstating its status as the “the most watched” station at 10 p.m.

An asterisk with a disclaimer that this only applied to the 18- to 49-year-old demographic has been added to KARE’s rooftop promo, according to Mike Caputa, news director at WCCO, who sounded not at all perturbed Monday.

“Last couple of years we’ve being doing a [promo] ‘Minnesota’s most-watched station,’ ” said Caputa. “KARE in the last three [to] four weeks came out with a promo that they were the most-watched 10 p.m. newscast in the state — and the original one said, ‘in the country.’ They had to change that because Nielsen told them that was not true. They put on the bottom an asterisk, they’re using only 18 to 49.”

A staffer at the ratings powerhouse Nielsen declined to comment. In other words: Nielsen is going to let the local stations duke it out here.

Nobody at KARE11 returned my call to explain the asterisk added to the TV spot where Julie Nelson, Eric Perkins, Belinda Jensen and others are standing on a rooftop in Minneapolis touting KARE11’s ratings dominance. WCCOers are always amused by Golden Valley-based KARE11 setting commercials in downtown Minneapolis. I have seen the commercial but don’t have a TV gigantic enough to have made the asterisk more prominent.

My chat with Caputa was a continuation of a conversation where I told him I never understand what TV stations are doing with the numbers and have concluded they can make figures do whatever they like. So I again asked: Which station is the most watched?

“We are the most watched in total viewers in every newscast we produce,” Caputa told me. “That means it doesn’t matter, 2-year-old until you’re dead.” At 5, 6 and 10 p.m. WCCO has more eyeballs.

“I think that’s even true for all the morning shows,” he said. REALLY? I’d heard there’d been a dip since the Great Morning News Shuffle of 2013. “Yes,” said Caputa. “If we don’t ever win a total show it’s in the mornings, that’s the one spot where that’s happening.”

In memory of Trayvon

Prince’s original bass player André Cymone is editing a video he recorded to go with his song “Trayvon.” Proceeds go to the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

“On a cold rainy night/ he went out for a walk/ he wasn’t looking for a fight, no no/ he wasn’t afraid to talk …

Tryin’ to get from a boy to a man/ it ain’t easy/ when your black/ ain’t no easy way/ you can dream for tomorrow/ but still, ya gotta live/ ya gotta live for today.”

To see the full lyrics: andrecymone.bandcamp.com/track/trayvon .

“I want to be one of many voices that speak out about situations that happen,” Cymone said by phone Monday. “This thing hit me when I first heard about Trayvon being killed by some stranger who thought it was OK to follow somebody around and then shoot him. To me it just breaks down that simple. That shouldn’t happen in America. Right then I began writing the song and I saw so many people stand up and get involved” when it looked like the man who shot the Florida teen, George Zimmerman, might not be charged with a crime. Cymone said he was emotionally torn up again when a jury decided Zimmerman was not guilty.

“I said ‘You know what? I’m not the biggest, highest-profile celebrity by any means. I just believe that any little thing helps.’ Having three boys and being as close as I am [to them], any one of them [could have been Trayvon],” said Cymone, who had his own story about someone in California finding his behavior suspicious.

“This older gentleman thought I was following him. It made me think if you are in Florida they can probably get out and pull a gun. … Depending on what they are thinking they might just haul off and shoot you. Then they can say they felt threatened.” If he had a concert in Florida, Cymone said he would boycott.


C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com and seen on FOX9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.