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Published: 6/15/2007

Ch. 11 news maintains dominance

FROM THE BLADE STAFF

Tis the season for TV reruns. Even the results of viewership surveys seem to be repeats.

The May survey of television viewing habits was delivered to local stations this week and there were few surprises.

WTOL-TV, Channel 11, continues to dominate local news, winning four of five time slots. That s the same showing as the previous two surveys, in February and November, according to Nielsen Media Research.

WTVG -TV, Channel 13, maintained its hold on the 5 to 7 a.m. newscasts but had to settle for second place at noon, 5, 6, and 11 p.m.

WTOL was concerned it might encounter a stronger challenge for 11 p.m. viewers when it heard how well ABC stations in other markets were doing with prime time shows such as Dancing with the Stars, Ugly Betty, Grey s Anatomy, and Lost.

Their [WTVG s] lead-ins were doing so well we were bracing ourselves. said Mitch Jacob, WTOL news director. ABC is skewing younger, but we didn t lose much. People are still coming to our 11 p.m. and that shows the strength of Jerry [Anderson] and Chrys [Peterson].

We re within striking distance in the mornings; we re comfortable with our team, our approach, and what we are doing.

In addition to its strong morning news, Channel 13 had growth with viewers in the 25 to 54 age group, the demographic that advertiser most often try to reach. From 5 to 6 p.m., WTVG had 15,000 average viewers in that target demo, compared with WTOL s 17,000 viewers. At 6 p.m., the ABC affiliate actually beat Channel 11 with viewers age 25 to 54. In that age group, WTVG averaged 27,000 viewers and the CBS affiliate averaged 24,000 viewers.

We re delighted overall with our results, said David Zamichow, president and general manager of WTVG. Something didn t click with viewers at 11 p.m. Our lead-ins were strong, but that didn t carry over into the 11 p.m. We re going to look at it, see what happened and make adjustments. We ll get there.

We know that they [WTOL] won t just stand still and wait for us to catch them. They ll keep moving ahead and so will we. It would be foolish for either of us to take each other lightly.

WUPW-TV, Channel 36, which offers news at 4 and 10 p.m., did lose some viewers in the afternoon compared with the February survey. But looking back to May, 2006, the station has doubled its number of viewers at 4 p.m. It also continues to turn in good numbers at 10 p.m., particularly with 25 to 54-year-olds, even up against network shows

In terms of average total viewers Monday-Friday, WUPW s newscasts came in third, behind WTOL and WTVG. WNWO-TV, Channel 24, continued to struggle ratings-wise, placing well behind Channel 11 and Channel 13 in every time slot.

The next Nielsen survey will be conducted July 5 through Aug. 1.

While May sweeps show which local television newscasts win with viewers, a different picture emerges when it comes to being judged by their peers.

This week, the winners of the 2006-2007 Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters awards were announced.

WTVG-TV, Channel 13, was the big winner, taking home eight first-place awards and three second-place awards. WUPW-TV, Channel 36, picked up two first-place awards, and WTOL-TV, Channel 11, snagged two second-place awards.

WTVG took top honors for best regularly scheduled news, at 6 p.m.; best regularly scheduled weather, with Stan Stachak; and Rob Powers as best sports broadcaster. The ABC affiliate also received the top awards for outstanding sports operation and outstanding weather operation among medium-market television stations in Toledo, Dayton, and Youngstown. Rounding out its first-place awards, Channel 13 was recognized for best producer, best spot news coverage for the work of Alexis Means and Justin Billau on the North Baltimore train wreck, and best Web site.

WUPW was honored with first-place awards in the extraordinary coverage of a scheduled event category for Casey Jouett s and Karl Rundgren s efforts on You decide 2006. Fox Toledo s Hardcore Sports also took first place for best regularly scheduled sports, with Brad Fanning and Howard Chen.

• The Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters also awarded Cassie Wilson of WSPD-AM, 1370, first place for best regularly scheduled news in medium market radio, which includes stations in Toledo, Akron, Athens, Dayton, Elyria, Oxford, and Youngstown.

• Fox Toledo unveiled a new Web site last week myfoxtoledo.com. Two Web producers were hired to expand the site with enhanced local news, weather, and traffic information, according to FOX Toledo General Manager Ray Maselli. Angel Belford was named internet director. She was a technical writer at La-Z-Boy before joining WUPW. Tim Andrassy is a Web site producer, and had been the associate producer/Web producer at WNWO-TV, Channel 24, since January, 2005, before jumping to Channel 36.



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