By Alan Pergament
As I wrote Friday, the July ratings period is the least important of the four conducted annually by Nielsen.
But it does allow you to see some viewership trends.
The morning results are among the most interesting. They illustrate again how far Channel 7 is behind its two rivals two weeks before it tries to re-launch with its newly-titled newscast "Good Morning" with two new co-anchors and a larger staff.
Channel 7’s 6 a.m. program averaged a 2.1 rating in July, less than half of Channel 2's "Daybreak" (5.4) and Channel 4’s "Wake Up!" (4.6).
The 6 a.m. results impact the national competition from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and illustrate how different this market is than most across the country.
NBC’s "Today," which gets a strong lead-in from "Daybreak," remains a strong No.1 here and actually saw its ratings increase slightly from a year ago to 6.0. "CBS This Morning" has seen its ratings increase by 52 percent from a year ago and now is in second place with a 4.1 rating. ABC’s "Good Morning America" suffers badly from the lead-in that that Channel 7 gives it, and is third here with a 3.5. "GMA" is No. 1 nationally.
The local results for the nightly news competition also reflect the strength or weakness of the network affiliates here.
"The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" averages a 7.9 rating on Channel 2, fueled by the lead-in from Channel 2 at 6 p.m. "The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley" is second here with a 6.4 rating with the help of the Channel 4 lead-in. ABC’s evening newscast with Diane Sawyer, which is challenging NBC nationally for first place, suffers from its Channel 7's lead-in and is a weak third here with a 4.4.
Katie Couric's syndicated talk show hasn't been the lead-in help that Channel 7 may have expected for its early evening newscasts. Couric reruns in the summer are averaging a weak 1.4, less than half of the 3.0 that "Ellen" reruns give Channel 2's 5 p.m. news as a lead-in. "Katie," which is a hit nationally, suffers from an anemic lead-in it receives. Channel 7's highest rated afternoon entertainment program is ABC’s "General Hospital" at 2 p.m. The 3.5 rating would have been a nice lead-in for "Katie" if ABC had allowed Channel 7 to move the soap to 3 p.m. But the network won't allow it.
Channel 7's highest-rated newscast is at noon, where it averages a 5.0 rating in a news time slot where Channel 2 does not compete.
Local prime time viewership is only marginally down and that's only because of the 16 percent decline in ABC viewership from a year ago.
Channel 4, which is riding the success of the CBS miniseries "Under the Dome," is up 5 percent from a year ago with a 4.6 average. Channel 2, which is riding the success of NBC’s "America’s Got Talent," is flat with a 4.1. More importantly for Channel 2, NBC’s news lead-in ratings from 10:45 p.m. to 11 p.m. have skyrocketed 36 percent and helped Channel 2 tighten the 11 p.m. news race with first-place Channel 4.
As you can see from almost all the results, the lead-in still matters big time even though the remote makes it so easy to change channels.
The time period that saw the most increase in viewership was at 6 a.m. Saturday when Channel 2 started running a new newscast without a significant lead-in. The time period’s ratings rose from a .4 (that’s a point 4) to 4.5 or a gain of 1025 percent.
taggedTelevision | TV news