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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

5 Things You Need To Know About May TV Ratings

Five things you need to know about the May sweeps local news ratings:
--Viewing dropped for newscasts on all stations, except Ch 12's 6-7 a.m. "Good Morning Cincinnati" (not "Good Morning Tristate" as I originally wrote).
--Ch 12 won all weekday newscasts again, except for the 5-6:30 p.m. block won by Ch 9 a usual.
--Ch 5 was last for all newscasts. At 11 p.m., more TV homes were watching "The Simpsons" on Ch 19 than Ch 5 news (D'oh!), as in February.
--Ch 19 moved up to second at 6-7 a.m., from 4th a year ago, and won at 10 p.m., as always.
--The au
dience share for ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox prime-time viewing was down 10% from last May and 13% from two years ago. At the same time, TV viewing was down only 6% from two years ago. The combined 11 p.m. local news audience share dropped 17% from last year, and 25% from two years ago.

The prime-time audience loss was attributed to an increasing number of people watching network TV shows online, or time-shifting their viewing on digital video recorders, and the nice weather. Nielsen Media Research does not count online viewing and DVR viewing in overnight ratings.

The 11 p.m. audience drop can be the result of two factors – fewer people watching prime-time, and a lifestyle shift with people going to bed earlier. NBC's fourth-place prime-time ratings dropped 31% here from a year ago. Ch 5 averaged only a 5.3 rating 8-11 p.m., and a 4.4 rating at 11 p.m. for news.

Two years ago, when NBC was more competitive, Ch 5 jumped to second at 11 p.m. in May for the first time in 13 years. Ch 5 has been third since.

Here are the ratings, TV homes and audience shares for May TV news:

7-6 a.m.
WKRC-TV 4.9 43,458 19%
WXIX-TV 3.5 31,041 14%
WCPO-TV 3.3 26,268 13%
WLWT-TV 2.6 23,059 10%

WKRC-TV 5.1 45,232 19%
WCPO-TV 4.2 37,250 15%
WLWT-TV 1.7 15,077 6%

5-6:30 p.m.
WCPO-TV 7.0 62,083 17%
WKRC-TV 6.0 53,214 14%
WLWT-TV 3.3 29,268 8%

10 p.m.
WXIX-TV 7.0 62,083 11%
WSTR-TV 2.0 17,738 3%

11 p.m.
WKRC-TV 11.4 101,106 22%
WCPO-TV 7.7 68,291 15%
WLWT-TV 4.4 39,023 9%
(WXIX: The Simpsons, 4.58/9%)

Source: Nielsen Media Research


at 5/24/2007 2:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, can you explain the reason channel 5 switched anchors right after they hit second place two years ago. Did they like being in third place that they felt they should self destruct themselves by going to an all girl anchor system?

at 5/24/2007 2:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 9's morning show was definitely affected by David Rose's departure.

at 5/24/2007 3:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what is more interesting is the dwindling TV viewership at least ratings wise. Maybe more people are TIVO/DVRing their shows, but I think the reality TV craze may be starting to saturate and hopefully correct itself.

at 5/24/2007 3:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

kiese could you put the time periods and the results in a grid.

at 5/24/2007 3:31 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

I just added to the blog.

at 5/24/2007 4:11 PM Anonymous girl on the westside said...

Mr. Kiesewetter, did you forget to post Fox and the CW's fall lineup last week? I was looking forward to seeing what stupid reality shows Fox came up with next!

at 5/24/2007 4:17 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Yes, you may be right. But the stories we had in the paper also were posted on the website last Thursday or Friday.

at 5/24/2007 5:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

TV 5 benched Dave Wager, and forced consumer watchdog Tom Sussi to take a better gig in Orlando.
This is a station that can't get it right.

At least the Simpsons are entertaining!

at 5/24/2007 6:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can 5 do to actually get back in the ratings game? Anything? Or should they clean house and start over?

at 5/24/2007 11:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have to say in all seriousness and candor, WLWT has had to have hit a near-record low for local ratings in terms of a traditional affiliate.

It breaks my heart to see this, because that station has had such a large impact on Cincinnati over the decades.

Is that 11pm news number the lowest on record for an ABC, CBS, NBC affiliate? I can't remember it.

at 5/25/2007 9:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

These numbers confirm what I've always maintained: Cammy Dierking is no big deal. Her numbers are down & the numbers for the show she left are up. Hilarious. Its so funny that people think she has mass appeal.

at 5/25/2007 10:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have any year-to-year info for comparison? Thanks!

at 5/25/2007 11:19 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


WOW! The Simpsons beating 5 at 11pm, that is just sad but not surprising! All the new faces speaks volumes to the lack of credibilty and the lack of trust!

I miss O'Brien's style and Sussi's bone...any update on those boys? As always John thanks for the information.

at 5/25/2007 11:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trouble is - they keep cleaning house and starting over. Gimmick after gimmick. As long as they keep this up, viewers won't respond.

at 5/25/2007 2:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the mornings i always flip on channel 19 news - Rob, Sheila, Valeris, Bruce, the whole crew are fun to listen to.

Last thing I need in the morning is drudgery (sp).

Way to go 19!

at 5/26/2007 9:04 AM Blogger RadioCarla said...

I'm another fan of the Fox 19 morning news. I appreciate the fact that it's a local show instead of just 5 minutes of local cut-in during the network morning show. I really love it when Rob and Sheila crack each other up.

at 5/26/2007 1:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is difficult to be a news department on any NBC affiliate at the moment. Channel 5 has quality people.

at 5/26/2007 2:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blaming NBC??? You've got to be kidding me. How can you do that when the afternoon shows are in the dumper, too??? NBC has no control over lead-in on that, and nationally, NBC News is very strong, so that should position 5 for a strong lead-out. But it doesn't happen. I think you should modify your claim to: Its difficult for NBC station with the call letters WLWT. The network was strong several years ago - but 5 could never capitalize on it.

at 5/27/2007 9:47 AM Blogger mark said...

john, good morning tri-state is on channel 9, not 12 as you state above in your first thing to know about the may ratings.

at 5/27/2007 10:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you happen to have weekend ratings?

I would love to know who's on top on weekend mornings and weekend evenings.

Also, wanted to see if Brian Patrick leaving Channel 8 weekend evenings did anything, numbers wise, to Julie O'Neill's ratings?

Thanks for any info/help,

at 5/27/2007 10:05 AM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

No, I don't have right now. Maybe someone has, and can post. I only have full 28-day average, no weekend breakouts.

at 5/27/2007 10:10 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay, just thought I'd see.

also: correction-Channel 9, not 8. I was typing too fast!

I remember for a long time Ch. 12 would run commercials talking about how they are #1 in AM, Noon, 11pm, and also weekends and the commercial would feature Paula Toti, but haven't seen that kind of commercial this time around, so that's why I was asking....

at 5/29/2007 9:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's one word to describe WLWT's news: Broken. Pure and simple. The fall began when Jerry Springer tried to do double duty as reputable news anchor and disreputable talk show host in the early 90s. 5 slid into third place and never really came back. Not too long after that, the management cleaned out almost all the high priced veteran reporters, and WLWT went tabloid...Disaster upon disaster. Yes, 5 had its micro-moment of success as John mentions, but most NBC affiliates had been reaping the benefits of the network's success for years prior to that...proving that the station, and not NBC, was to blame for the poor performance. Now you turn to 5 and the reporters look even younger than the recent college grads on 19. Not much authority there. And who are these anchors? What possible reason does Sandra Ali have for being in this town - career advancement? 5 has some of the slickest looking promos in town, and many of their news packages show all the earmarks of intense effort and postproduction but it makes no diffrence: neither the promos or product are able to draw an audience.

WLWT continues to suffer from too many years of too many consultants - and too little Cincinnati. A strange fate for a station that was probably had more market identity and goodwill going for it, over decades - and it's all been thrown away.

One day some smart cookie will realize that "playing it by the book" and doing things that work in most midsize markets simply doesn't cut it in this town.

at 5/29/2007 10:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sussi is in Orlando, at FOX TV.Loving life, and the sun.
O'brien is at the FOX in Indy. Both are missed at TV 5. But are better off.

at 5/30/2007 10:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The management at TV 5 needs the Bone!

at 5/30/2007 10:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 has a handful of talented, *local* people. Hopefully they can spend time developing them. Some of their best people are underutilized for sure. Some of their weakest are the ones they're promoting. They probably won't stick around for the long haul. Local local local.

at 6/09/2007 10:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, do you have the ratings for May 2007 for sports shows (Saturday and/or Sunday night)??

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