MEDIA

WTVG-TV benefits from overall November market trend

12/20/2013
BY KIRK BAIRD
BLADE STAFF WRITER

There are two trends to take away from the November Nielsens: Overall market viewership is up from a year ago, and WTVG-TV, Channel 13, benefited the most.

The ABC affiliate handily won the mornings in total viewers 2 years of age and older and in the coveted 25-54 age demographic, and was the most-watched newscast in total viewers at 5 to 6 p.m., and 6 to 6:30 p.m., a significant reversal from November, 2012.

The good news for WTOL-TV, Channel 11, WTVG’s main ratings rival in the Toledo-area market, is that the station’s morning numbers were up, as was total viewership for its 11 p.m. newscast. Channel 11’s late news has been a ratings stronghold for the CBS affiliate and continues to be viewers’ most-popular choice for the final news broadcast of the day.

WNWO-TV, Channel 24, however, slid in the ratings from the last November numbers, down in total viewership for both morning newscasts and its 6 to 6:30 p.m. broadcast. The NBC affiliate’s 11 p.m. news remained the same.

It was a slightly better Nielsens book for WUPW-TV, Channel 36, with lower total viewership for its two-hour block of news, beginning at 8 a.m., while the Fox affiliate’s two evening newscasts, 6:30 to 7, and 10 to 11, were up from a year ago.

As for the raw numbers, in total viewers 2 and older, WTVG drew 15,000 and 44,000 at 5 to 6 a.m. and 6 to 7 a.m., respectively, and 8,500 and 25,000 in the 25 to 54 demographic. WTOL was watched by 10,500 total viewers from 5 to 6 a.m., and 22,000 from 6 to 7 a.m., and 5,000 and 9,000 in the key demographic. A thousand total viewers and a thousand viewers ages 25 to 54 tuned in to WNWO for the same two-hour block of morning news.

At noon, WTOL easily beat WTVG in total viewers, 44,000 to 29,000, and in the 25 to 54 demographic, 14,000 to 8,000. WTVG’s noon newscast was recently expanded into an hour.

Channel 13, though, earned a narrow ratings victory for the 5 p.m. newscast, with 46,500 in total audience compared to Channel 11’s 45,000. The demographic numbers, however, weren’t so close for the same hour-long newscast: 17,500 for WTVG and 9,000 for WTOL. And for the 6 p.m. half-hour broadcast, the most-watched of any local newscasts, Channel 13 moved even further ahead in the ratings numbers: 73,000 in total viewers and 28,000 in the age demographic, compared to Channel 11’s 62,000 total audience, 15,000 of whom were 25 to 54 years of age. Channel 24’s 6 p.m. newscast was watched by 3,000 total viewers, and 2,000 in the 25 to 54 demographic.

“When nearly half of the people watching morning television choose 13abc, it’s an honor,” WTVG Executive News Director Brian Trauring said in an email to The Blade. “We thank everyone who made 13abc No. 1 at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6 p.m., too. Our team is very grateful to viewers who make 13abc their home for news.”

For the 11 p.m. newscast, WTOL won total viewership by a sizable margin, 58,000 to WTVG’s 36,000, but lost a close ratings race in the key demographic, 13,000 to 14,000. The 11 p.m. news brought WNWO its best numbers of the November sweeps, with 4,000 total viewers and 2,000 in the 25 to 54 demographic.

“Our newscasts right now are fairly flat, there’s no growth or erosion,” said WNWO president and CEO Chris Topf. “But I think being acquired by Sinclair [Broadcast Group Inc.] and with the resources they have, we’ll see our newscasts receive a good boost.

“I feel we’re really poised for growth as 2014 moves along.”

WUPW, which doesn’t compete with local newscasts, was watched by 4,000 and 3,000 total viewers from 7 to 8 a.m. and 8 to 9 a.m., and 2,000 and 1,000, respectively, in the targeted age demographic. For its 6:30 p.m. newscast, Channel 36 had a total audience of 6,000 — 4,000 of whom were between the ages of 25 and 54. The Fox affiliate’s numbers were better for its 10 p.m. newscast, drawing 16,000 total viewers and 7,000 in the age demographic.

WTOL also has a 9 to 10 a.m. newscast that doesn’t compete with other local news. The newscast’s numbers were slightly down from last year in total viewership, 16,000 compared to 17,000. In the 25 to 54 demographic, the broadcast was watched by an average of 5,000 viewers.

Station management at WTOL, which merged newsroom resources and personnel with WUPW, declined to be quoted for the story.

Contact Kirk Baird atkbaird@theblade.com or 419-724-6734.