(Seth McConnell, The Denver Post)

TV’s May sweeps: Time to bust out the weed coverage

Weed is in the air this May sweeps. Expect marijuana coverage from all major Denver TV news outlets.

Because Colorado is the center of the recreational pot universe, home to an historic shift not seen since Prohibition, because the sales and consumption of weed make for lively visuals, because the medical, legal, cultural and financial angles are abundant, and with a number of national networks and documentary crews swarming the story (not to mention The Denver Post’s website The Cannabist), it’s a natural. The depth of coverage, or lack thereof, will offer insight into each local news shop.

TV's May sweeps: Time to bust out the weed coverage
CBS4′s Rick Sallinger talks to Dr. Tista Ghosh. (Provided by CBS4)

CBS4 is first in line, taking a look at edibles: On April 24, Alan Gionet reported on the science behind how THC from edibles is ingested; Rick Sallinger went undercover “to learn what pot shops are really telling customers when they buy edibles and whether the information is accurate.” Then April 25 at 10 p.m., Brian Maass wraps it up with a report on “what’s really inside edibles including sometimes harmful bacteria and pesticides.”

For competitive reasons, the rest are tight-lipped about what’s in store. “We are working on several angles — they are not yet scheduled,” said 7News boss Jeff Harris. “But they should all break ground.”

Edibles 101: Eight tips for getting right dose

Fox31 has several reports planned, including investigative pieces. “It’s a very timely, relevant and promotable topic of interest to a broad cross-section of the audience,” said news director Ed Kosowski. “We’re looking at safety issues, medical issues, all of those things woven together.” The first one will launch next week, by Boris Sanchez.

9News has a pot story running as early as April 25, another in the next week, both on the legal and regulatory fronts. News director Patti Dennis declined to be specific but noted “there are always rogue people in any industry.”

Clearly, it’s a story that keeps on giving.

About the sweeps: While network execs talk a good game about disregarding the sweeps in favor of year-round efforts, the ratings still provide the measure advertisers weigh before spending on local airtime. Nielsen says the 2014 May sweeps run April 24-May 21.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta tracks Colorado “medical marijuana refugees” (video)
CNBC’s “Colorado Pot Rush” has motherlode of info, views (video)

This story was first published on Ostrow Off the Record