Chicago’s NBC owned-and-operated station WMAQ-TV saw a lift from the severe summer storms during the recently completed July sweeps (July 10 through Aug. 6), particularly on weekends in the region this summer.
Its Saturday morning news at 9 a.m. checked out with a 5.5/15, up 28 percent from July 2002. Sunday’s 8 a.m. news was up 13 percent over last year. The station’s Web site, with an abundance of weather-related content, logged more than 5 million page views, a record for the station. Sunday’s 8 a.m. show finished first, beating ABC O&O WLS-TV by 31 percent and was up 13 percent from July 2002. WMAQ’s late local news finished with an 8.6/14 Mondays through Fridays, up 5 percent over last year.
Market leader WLS ended the book with a 10.2/17 in that time slot, down 11 percent, while CBS O&O WBBM-TV garnered a 4.3/7, down 4 percent, according to WMAQ. At 9 p.m. Tribune-owned WB affiliate WGN won the news race with a 5.7/9, while Fox O&O WFLD-TV scored a 4.9/8.
Just days before the start of the ratings period, WBBM introduced its new weekend anchor team, Jon Duncanson and Sylvia Gomez, and snagged a sizable increase at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. The time period logged a 3.4/8, up 68 percent from a 2.3/5 last year. Meanwhile, WMAQ dipped to third in that news race to a 2.6/6 from a 3.2/7 last year, while WLS still led, but fell to a 4.5/10 from a 5.2/12 last year. The CBS station also saw a rise in its weekend late news, finishing with a 4.1/7, up 17 percent, while both WMAQ and WLS were down, WBBM said.
Florida CBS Outlet to Produce News for Fox Affil
Tallahassee’s Gray Communications-owned CBS affiliate WCTV-TV will produce a 30-minute newscast for neighboring Pegasus-owned Fox station WTLH-TV at 10 p.m. WCTV’s general manager believes the earlier show will attract some WCTV viewers who may not stay up until 11 p.m. to watch news on WCTV. The broadcast will start around Sept. 15.
WJXT Wins 5 p.m. Race by Wide Margin
Jacksonville, Fla.’s Post-Newsweek-owned independent station WJXT-TV, network-free for a year, won the 5 p.m. news battle in July with a 9/18, up 50 percent over second-place Gannett Broadcasting NBC station’s WTLV-TV with a 6/11.
On the Move
Gannett Broadcasting’s top-rated Denver NBC affiliate KUSA-TV hired Bob Kendrick from Scripps-Howard-owned ABC affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa, Fla., to join Adele Arakawa as anchor of the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.
He anchored the early evening and morning newscasts in Tampa and received two Edward R. Murrow and four Emmy awards while there. He’ll start at KUSA in October.
Philadelphia’s NBC owned-and-operated station WCAU-TV added Denise Nakano to its weekend morning news team in late July. She most recently worked as a weekend anchor-reporter at Tribune-owned Fox affiliate KCPQ-TV in Seattle. Vince DeMentri joined WCAU last week as co-anchor at 5 p.m. with Tracy Davidson. He worked at CBS O&O WCBS-TV and Tribune-owned WB station WPIX-TV in New York. Later this month, meteorologist Doug Kammerer becomes part of the WCAU crew at 5 p.m. from Fox-owned WOFL-TV in Orlando, Fla.
Dana Kozlov joined Chicago ABC O&O WBBM-TV as a general-assignment reporter after eight years at Tribune-owned WB affil WGN-TV
T.J. Holmes will land at San Francisco NBC O&O KNTV-TV in September as co-anchor at 5 p.m. He replaces Brad Hicks.
Super Bowl XX coach and NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka signed on to Chicago NBC O&O WMAQ-TV’s sports team for coverage of the Bears preseason games and appearances during the Friday 5 p.m. news during the NFL season.