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News Trends Favor Channel 2

Steve Carell

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In the last sweeps period before Channel 4 News loses Oprah (her show is still in reruns) as its lead-in, the CBS affiliate remained No. 1 in all important weekday news time periods except 5 p.m. and 6 a.m.
But the trends during the July sweeps favor second-place Channel 2, which won at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. and narrowed the gap with Channel 4 everywhere they compete except at 10 p.m.
Channel 4’s 10 p.m. news on WNLO dominates locally, getting more than three times the audience for Channel 2’s 10 p.m. news on WNYO. Channel 4 also dominates at noon, when Channel 2 doesn’t compete. WGRZ airs an 11 a.m. newscast instead of one at noon.
In the four Monday through Friday time periods that Channel 2 and Channel 4 go head-to-head – 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. — , Channel 4 earns a total of 28.0 ratings points to Channel 2’s 27.4.
In other words, the two stations are within six-tenths of a point of each other when you add the ratings of all those newscasts.
Channel 2 win at 6 a.m. is the fourth straight sweeps victory in the time period. The last time Channel 4 won the time slot was in July of 2010.
Channel 2 won at 5 p.m. by half a point, after losing by a point a year ago. Channel 4 won at 5:30 p.m. by three- tenths of a point. A year ago, Channel 4′s margin was much larger.
Channel 4’s margin of victory at 6 p.m. is less than a point, with Channel 2 cutting last year’s margin almost in half.
At 11 p.m., Channel 4 wins by four-tenths of a point, which also is about half its margin of a year ago. Channel 2 notes if it adds the 11 p.m. weekend newscasts, it wins by one-tenth of a point.
And Channel 7? The ABC affiliate is even deeper in third place, with declines from a year ago in all news time slots except at noon.
Of course, July is the least important of all the sweeps periods. But the trends seem to indicate that Channel 2 News is poised to tie or beat Channel 4 this fall or at some point next season.
The most disturbing trend for all three stations is the decline in 11 p.m. news viewership from Monday through Friday.
A year ago, the three stations had a combined 23.1 rating. This July, they combined for 20.7 points, a drop of about 11 percent.
* With WNGS changing its call letters to WBBZ on Monday and getting the rights to “Cheers” and “I Love Lucy” from Channel 2 in September in its new ME-TV package of old series, it wouldn’t be surprising if the NBC affiliate dropped its Lunch Time with the Classics Show at noon this fall.
One replacement possibility: Channel 2 could move Bill O’Loughlin’s talk show to noon. It has been surprisingly successful at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. It gets ratings in the 3 and 4 range.
* The new Steve Carell movie, “Crazy Stupid Love,” opened this week. It earned 3 stars from the Buffalo News. Shocking.
pergament@msn.com

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5 responses to "News Trends Favor Channel 2"

  1. Tina says:

    Channel 2 has got it all! Great anchors, graphics, reporters(except for one), and I find myself watching them more than ever. I certainly hope that they do everything they can to keep Marissa Bailey because with her talent and looks she could go anywhere.

    • Randy says:

      I agree. Having been a loyal Ch. 4 fan since about 1952 (!), I now watch Ch. 2 news most of the time for the reasons you have cited. Ch. 4 emphasizes so much of the fires, shootings, accidents and morbid crime, that I just don’t care to see!

      • Tina says:

        @ Randy, Channel 4 needs to do some serious updating. Their graphics are ok but it often looks dark and gloomy behind Jackie and Don at the anchor desk. It is also all to obvious that they are trying to save money because they don’t get the quality reporters channel 2 does. They need to realize that viewers want quality in their reporting, they apparently don’t think it is important for some reason but I think it is more that they just don’t care..and it shows.

  2. “One replacement possibility: Channel 2 could move Bill O’Loughlin’s talk show to noon. It has been surprisingly successful at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. It gets ratings in the 3 and 4 range.”

    Don’t be surprised if that happens. Once football season starts, the 11:30 slot won’t be available. That’s what killed Sports Extra once upon a time.

  3. Tom says:

    All Channel 2 has to do now is keep working hard to climb the ratings even further. Also, being first in HD for Buffalo would be a huge plus.

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