Nielsen's May sweeps produced few surprises in local TV newscast ratings.
The last three ratings periods, including November and April, indicate a tightened race between WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and WTVG-TV, Channel 13. But the CBS and ABC affiliates continue their stranglehold on the Toledo-area market.
In May, WTOL (CBS) won the weekday noon and 6 p.m. newscasts in the 25 to 54 age group that advertisers covet, while WTVG (ABC) posted wins in the 6 to 7 a.m., 5 to 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. news time slots. The 5 to 6 a.m. newscast was pretty much a tie among 25 to 54-year-old viewers, with WTOL taking a slight edge, with 7,500 watching compared to 7,000 who were watching WTVG.
Among 25 to 54-year-old viewers, Channel 11 averaged 14,000 viewers at noon and 21,000 at 6 p.m., compared with 9,000 at noon and 19,000 at 6 p.m. for Channel 13.
In the 6 to 7 a.m., 5 to 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. weekday newscasts, WTVG led with 25,000, 16,000, and 19,000 viewers in the same demographic, compared to 21,000, 15,000, and 18,000 for WTOL.
Brian Trauring, WTVG news director, said his station's strong showing is due in part to the strength of network and syndicated programming.
"The better your programming does, the better your shows are going to do," he said. "I think there's a relationship there, but I also think you're as strong as you are with your local news product."
The most-watched local newscast is at 6 p.m., when a total of 132,000 viewers tune in. In the May Nielsen survey, WTOL had 63,000 viewers, while WTVG had 59,000 and WNWO-TV, Channel 24, had 10,000.
"Am I concerned? I'm always concerned," said Bob Chirdon, vice president and general manager of WTOL. "You want to win everything. But again, I go back and take a look [at total number of viewers]. I see improvement in overall viewership and I think that's a good thing."
WNWO, the NBC affiliate, placed a distant third in all competitive newscasts, while its 7 p.m. weekday news, which faces competition from the syndicated programs Wheel of Fortune, Entertainment Tonight, and Deal or No Deal, was watched by 4,000 viewers ages 25 to 54 and 6,000 total.
The Fox affiliate, WUPW-TV, Channel 36, has a 4 and 10 p.m. newscast, so it doesn't directly compete with the other network affiliates in the market. WUPW's most-viewed newscast is at 10 p.m., when it reached an average of 26,000 area residents, 15,000 of which were 25 to 54 years old.
WTOL's 9 a.m. newscast, which is up against non-news programming, placed second behind Live with Regis and Kelly on Channel 13. The talk show snagged 29,000 viewers, while the Channel 11 newscast hit 13,000.
Contact Kirk Baird at