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Good news for Ch.2 News in sweeps

By Alan Pergament

It is no surprise that Channel 2 News dominated in the early morning and early evening time periods during the just-concluded May sweeps.

The trends of the first three weeks were reported here and nothing much changed in the final week.

Once again, I'll try to keep the numbers to a minimum even though once upon a time I was a math major.

Channel 2 holds a decisive lead over Channel 4 at 5 a.m., 6 a.m. and from 5 p.m. through 6:30 p.m.

News 4 Buffalo continues to hold big leads at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.

And Channel 7's Eyewitness News continues to be a weak third in all time periods but 11 p.m., where it is within a point of Channel 2 for second place. 

But there are some viewing trends to take note of in May.

For one thing, more viewers are watching at 5 a.m. and fewer viewers are watching at 5 p.m.

The combined rating of the Big Three at 5 a.m. was 8.8, which was 25 percent higher than it was a year ago. And all three stations saw 5 a.m. increases.

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The combined rating at 5 p.m. was 16.6, which was about 15 percent lower than the 19.3 rating a year ago. And all three stations saw 5 p.m. decreases. Channel 4 dropped about 20 percent at 5 p.m. from a year ago.

There are a couple of other interesting things to note.

In the first big sweeps since Melissa Holmes took over for Jodi Johnston as John Beard's co-anchor on Channel 2's "Daybreak" and Channel 4 introduced its new "Wake Up" anchor team of Diana Fairbanks and Jordan Williams, both stations had something to be happy about.

The ratings for "Daybreak" and "Wake Up" at 5 a.m and 6 a.m. both saw increases from a year ago. "Daybreak" went up by a full point at 5 a.m. to expand its lead over "Wake Up" at that hour. The margin of victory for "Daybreak" at 6 a.m. is slightly higher than it was a year ago.

In the first sweeps since Channel 2's 10 p.m. newscast moved from little-watched Sinclair station WNYO to Sinclair's Fox affiliate WUTV, Channel 4's 10 O'Clock News on sister station WNLO-TV with Don Postles remains dominant. However, both stations have something to be happy about at 10. Channel 4's ratings at 10 p.m. increased by about 10 percent from a year ago. Channel 2's ratings increased by more than 80 percent at 10. However, it is much easier to have high percentage gains when your ratings are low. Channel 4 wins at 10 by a 4.9-2.9 margin.

All three stations saw increases at 6 p.m. Channel 2, which was in a statistical tie with Channel 4 at 6 p.m. a year ago, now has a wider lead there.

At 11 p.m., second place Channel 2 and third place Channel 7 saw gains, while Channel 4 remained flat from a year ago.

Of course, the full story of the May sweeps isn't told until the demographics arrive in a few weeks because they help determine advertising rates. Stay tuned.




Television | TV news
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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

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