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Published: Saturday, 12/23/2006

Channel 36 takes over 3rd place in viewership

FROM BLADE STAFF

Three of Toledo s television stations received gifts from Nielsen Media Research just in time for the holidays. The most recent survey of viewers arrived at stations this week, revealing how many viewers are watching local news.

WTOL-TV, Channel 11, won four out of five time slots Monday-Friday.

WTVG-TV, Channel 13, scored its 16th consecutive rating book (four years straight) where it had the No. 1 morning news block and, compared with a year ago, it made gains on WTOL at noon and 6 p.m.

And WUPW-TV, Channel 36, moved up to being the third-most watched television newscast in the afternoon and evening in the age demographic it focuses on: viewers age 25 to 54.

The only station with little to cheer about was NBC affiliate WNWO-TV, Channel 24, which slipped in viewership for every evening newscast.

According to Nielsen s November ratings survey, the CBS affiliate, WTOL, is the most-watched newscast at noon, 5 , 6, and 11 p.m.

WUPW is the only local station with a 4 and a 10 p.m. newscast. In the 25 to 54 age group, it saw a large increase for its 4 p.m. newscast. The Fox affiliate s share of viewers went from 1 percent of the audience a year ago to 9 percent.

It was an awesome book for us, we re just thrilled, said Ray Maselli, president and general manager at WUPW. I give most of the credit to the fact that we ve been very consistent, and we ve been smarter overall promoting our product. This is a wonderful surprise.

The November Nielsen was so strong for WUPW, it passed WNWO in total viewers. For the 4 p.m. newscast, Channel 36 had 12,000 viewers while Channel 24 had 10,000 for its 5 p.m. newscast. At 10 p.m., WUPW had 27,000 total viewers, while Channel 24 had 14,000 viewers for its 11 p.m. newscast.

I m pleased with how our mornings did, said Rick Lipps, WNWO general manager. We have a lot of room to grow. But we ve made a lot of changes in our afternoon and evening newscasts, and the chemistry takes a while to gel with people. I think Shenikwa [Stratford] and Jim [Blue] will do well. We made this change in midstream, so you won t notice growth right away.

Stratford was moved from the morning newscast to evenings in mid-November, joining anchor Blue.

The race between WTOL and ABC-affiliate WTVG became tighter during the noon and 6 p.m. newscasts, particularly in the 25 to 54 age bracket. WTOL captured 26 percent of the key demographic at noon, and WTVG garnered 23 percent. A year ago, WTOL captured 32 percent of the 25-54 age block at noon, and WTVG came in with 17 percent.

We re pleased with our progress, said Brian Trauring, news director at WTVG. This is the fourth ratings book in a row where we have achieved excellent results. We view it as a trend in an ever-tightening race.

WTOL isn t worried, though, according to the station s news director Mitch Jacob.

We had total dominance at 11 p.m., he said. We had more people watching at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. than Channels 13 and 24 combined. Our total numbers may have been down compared to a year ago, but that might be because of a mild November. Maybe people weren t at home to watch the 6 p.m. newscast. But when people were at home, at 11 p.m., we showed phenomenal numbers.

By far the most-watched newcasts are at 6 p.m., with a combined viewership of 141,000. That compares to 165,000 viewers for the 6 p.m. newscasts last year. WTOL now has 80,000, WTVG has 48,000 and WNWO has 13,000 viewers at 6 p.m. The 11 p.m. newscasts have the second highest number of viewers, for a combined total of 124,000.

The next Nielsen Media Research survey run Feb. 1-28.



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