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CBS Stations Surge in Sweeps

Mar 15, 2004  •  Post A Comment

CBS stations in four of the top five markets saw sizable bumps in late-news ratings during February sweeps over the previous year as the network’s strengthened prime-time lineup boosted local news.
For some of the top markets, February marked the last of the traditional sweeps periods before Nielsen rolls out local People Meters to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco later this year.
In New York, Viacom-owned WCBS-TV continued the late-news growth it has experienced over the past year, finishing with a 5.6/10 for Monday through Friday, up 14 percent, according to Nielsen Media Research. NBC-owned WNBC-TV still leads the 11 p.m. news race with its 7.9/14, down about 3 percent, besting ABC-owned WABC-TV, which had a 6.8/12, down 3 percent.
The prime-time lineup certainly helps, but much of the growth comes from the station itself, since the lead-in rose only 3 percent, compared with 14 percent for the news itself, said Lew Leone, president and general manager of WCBS. In the competitive Chicago market, ABC-owned WLS-TV still ruled in late news with a 10.9/17, down 8 percent. But Viacom-owned CBS station WBBM-TV is in third now with a 7.1/11, up from fifth last year. That’s a 19 percent rise over last February. NBC-owned WMAQ-TV finished with a 9.6/15, down 12 percent.
In San Francisco, Viacom-owned CBS station KPIX-TV won the 11 p.m. late news with a 5.6/13, up 4 percent. ABC-owned KGO-TV followed with a 5.4/12, up 8 percent, while NBC-owned KNTV snagged a 5.2/12, up 8 percent.
In Los Angeles, NBC-owned KNBC-TV landed in first with a 7.6/16, up 4 percent, and was the only late news in the market to grow compared with last year. ABC-owned KABC-TV checked in with a 6.5/13, down 3 percent, while KCBS-TV was third with a 4.3/9, down about 2 percent. It was the only Viacom-owned CBS station in a top five market that did not show growth in late news compared with last year.
In Philadelphia, the Viacom-owned CBS station KYW-TV rose 21 percent in late news weekdays to a 9.3 rating/15 share.