Surprise in local network news ratings

November 25, 2009

Tim Cuprisin has an interesting blog post that has me a bit surprised. It’s about the November ratings for the local TV news networks.

Preliminary numbers from Nielsen Media Research give Channel 12 an average 10 p.m. audience of more than 73,000 southeast Wisconsin homes, a 15 percent share of available homes. Channel 4 had nearly 69,000 households, also a 15 percent share. Channel 58 was in third place with more than 50,000 households (a 10 percent share), and Channel 6 had almost 41,000 homes (an 8 percent share).

The 9 p.m. hour was interesting, with NBC’s nightly “Jay Leno Show” averaging almost 49,000 homes, in third place for the hour, behind CBS’ programming on Channel 58 (65,000 households) and ABC’s programming on Channel 12 (nearly 62,000 households. Channel 6’s 9 p.m. news was in fourth place, averaging 46,000 homes.

Channel 12 is dominant throughout the broadcast day as the four-week November ratings period comes to a conclusion. The ratings periods are important in setting advertising rates for local stations.

It’s always been something of a debate between my friends and I on which news our families watch. My family scoots around actually. It’s usually Fox6 before the National Nightly News (BTW when ever I’m home I complain my parents watch that leftist Brian Williams) then to local TMJ4. I think my mom still watches Fox6 at 9pm and TMJ4 at 10pm but CBS 58 for some variety. I think that TMJ4 (Mick Trevey, Diane Pathieu and Rod Burks) and Fox6 (Jen Lada, TVV and Ted Perry) have the best on air personalities.

I think what kills Fox6 is a lack of help on the National level. The Fox Broadcasting throws their affiliates under the bus. If they had competitive sitcoms/dramas at the 9-10 spot people would probably watch their 10pm news more and no late night talk show or Saturday Night program could cost them viewers as well. I’ve always been upset that Fox Broadcasting doesn’t seem to put the effort into their network programing or sports network that they do FNC. If they did that, it would naturally boost the local affiliates with branding and layover from network programing.

I’m curious to see what the network share is between the 5-6pm time slots to see which network gets the biggest cut of the dinner time audience. Channel 12 edged out channel 4 which isn’t surprising. I am a personal fan of TMJ4 actually, I can understand that the shows on from 9-10 are better than the Jay Leno show. Local CBS edging out local Fox really caught me by surprise, but the near tie between 1st and 2nd and the gap before the closeness between 3rd and 4th also caught me off guard. I’d be interested in knowing of the ratings for CBS 58 and WMLW are combined.

Would love to see what the networks will be doing to gain audiences. Will there be more dirty dining and predator catching or will we see a shuffle of anchors and on air personalities?


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