Kansas City CBS Station Snags Victory from Longtime Powerhouse

Dec 13, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Meredith-owned CBS station KCTV in Kansas City won the late news race in November for the first time in 13 years with a Nielsen Media Research 12.6 rating/19 share. That’s up 20 percent over last year and a win over longtime leader KMBC-TV, the Hearst-Argyle-owned ABC affiliate, which posted an 11.2/17 for Tuesday through Sunday (excluding “Monday Night Football”).

KCTV News Director Regent Ducas said that when he came on board more than two years ago he made content and news a priority, rather than pegging success to a particular anchor team or talent.

“It’s about simply living up to who we are every day … live, late-breaking and investigative,” he said. The news at KCTV is straightforward, he said, adding that viewers should not expect to find a lot of health or feature stories, or franchises like a “Money Matters.”

Instead, KCTV embraces a topical approach to daily news rather than features planned days in advance. Since joining the station, Mr. Ducas has overhauled the news department and brought in 13 new faces out of a total of 23 on-air talent staffers. The anchor team is also new. Karen Fuller started late last year, and co-anchor Michael Scott joined her two months ago. The station also increased the number of promotions it airs by about 40 percent and increased its local ad budget by 30 percent.

“I think one of the keys to taking on a perennial powerhouse is not trying to be like them. If every day we all lead with the same story, we aren’t going to win,” he said.

KMBC pointed out that it won the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts and finished fourth in the country among all ABC affiliates for late news. In addition, KCTV lost 13 percent of its CBS prime-time lead-in share, while KMBC grew its share 42 percent into late news, said Blake Hodges, director of sales, marketing and business development for KMBC.

WNBC Wins Late News in Demos and Households

In New York, NBC-owned WNBC-TV claimed victory in the 11 p.m. late news race in both households and demos. WNBC finished with a Nielsen Media Research 6.8/12 in households and a 3.8/10 in the adults 25 to 54 demographic. It was followed by ABC-owned WABC-TV with a 6.5/12 in households and a 3.4/9 in the demo.

Viacom-owned WCBS was next with a 5.7/10 in households and a 2.8/7 in the demo. At 6 p.m., WABC won with a 6.9/14 in households and a 2.7/11 in adults 25 to 54. WNBC was next with a 5.4/11 in households and a 1.6/3 in the demo, while WCBS managed a 2.8/6 in households and a 0.7/3 in the demo.

KPIX Wins Households, KNTV Snags Demos in San Francisco

Viacom-owned CBS station KPIX-TV in San Francisco finished with a Nielsen Media Research 5.6/11 in households at 11 p.m., followed by NBC-owned KNTV with a 4.5/11, while ABC-owned KGO-TV had a 3.7/9. The KPIX victory is particularly noteworthy because KPIX beat the market’s powerhouse, Cox-owned KTVU-TV, a Fox affiliate, for the first time in 17 years, KPIX said, using Local People Meter data. KTVU’s 10 p.m. news finished with a 5.3/10. But KNTV garnered the win in adults 25 to 54 with a 2.6/10, compared to KPIX and KTVU, which each landed a 2.5/10. KGO scored a 1.8/7.

KTLA’s Hunt for Weathercaster Helps Ratings

A little local competition was the winning recipe for Tribune-owned WB affiliate KTLA-TV in Los Angeles during sweeps. Its morning news ranked first in households from 7-9 a.m. for the first time since 1996. That’s due in part to “The Audition,” in which KTLA selected a new weathercaster through an open audition process.

The morning news pulled in a Nielsen Media Research 3.3/11 in households with a 1.7/13 in adults 25 to 54. Ross King, a Scotland native, was named the new 10 p.m. weathercaster, and started Dec. 6.

In late news, NBC-owned KNBC-TV squeaked by with a 5.4/12 at 11 p.m., only two-tenths of a ratings point higher than ABC-owned KABC-TV with a 5.38/12, the narrowest margin in 11 years, KABC said. They were followed by Univision-owned KMEX-TV with a 4.3/10 and Viacom-owned KCBS-TV with a 3.9/9. In the adults 25 to 54 demographic, KNBC had 3.1/12, followed by KABC with a 2.3/9, KMEX with a 2.9/11 KCBS with a 2.0/8.

WLS Remains on Top, but WMAQ Strong in Demos

ABC-owned WLS-TV in Chicago won the 10 p.m. news crown with a Nielsen Media Research 11.8/20 household rating, followed by NBC-owned WMAQ-TV with a 9.2/15 and Viacom-owned CBS station WBBM-TV with a 4.4/7. In the 25 to 54 demo, WLS finished with a 5.6/14, compared to WMAQ’s 5.2/13, while WBBM had a 2.2/6.

WFOR Wins Late News in Miami

In Miami, Viacom-owned WFOR-TV topped the English-language stations with its late news win. The CBS station pulled in a Nielsen Media Research 5.7/10 in households, compared to NBC-owned WTVJ-TV with a 5.4/8, followed by Post-Newsweek-owned ABC station WPLG-TV with a 4.7/8. Fox station WSVN-TV, owned by Sunbeam, finished with a 4/6. WFOR said the win marks its fourth consecutive sweeps victory.

KXAS Cleans Up in Dallas

In Dallas, NBC-owned KXAS-TV said it won the 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekday newscasts in the just-completed November sweeps. Its 10 p.m. news finished with a Nielsen Media Research 10.4 rating/16 share in households for Monday through Friday, compared with Belo-owned ABC affiliate WFAA-TV with a 9.5/15 and CBS-owned KTVT-TV with a 9.1/14.

Milwaukee’s WISN Pulls Out 5 p.m. Win

For the first time since launching its 5 p.m. newscast in 1993, Hearst-Argyle-owned ABC affiliate WISN-TV in Milwaukee won the 5 p.m. local news race in November with a Nielsen Media Research 9.4/18 household rating, compared with a 9.2/18 for Journal Broadcast Group’s NBC station WTMJ-TV and a 6.4/12 for Fox-owned WITI-TV. WTMJ still won at 10 p.m. with an 11/18, while WISN had a 8.6/14.

KCAL Re-Ups with Lakers, Snags Dodgers Contract

Viacom-owned independent station KCAL-TV in Los Angeles extended its agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers through the 2011-12 season, renewing the basketball coverage that has been a staple of the station. KCAL also signed an agreement to become the new home of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the eight years from 2006 through 2013. Fox-owned UPN station KCOP-TV has been the Dodgers’ home for the last three years.

WJW Joins HD Local News

Elite Fox-owned WJW-TV in Cleveland said it is now producing all of its local newscasts in high definition, joining local station high-definition pioneers such as Gannett Broadcasting-owned NBC station KUSA-TV in Denver and Capitol Broadcasting-owned CBS station WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C.

On the Move

NBC-owned WMAQ-TV in Chicago moved Rob Elgas into an anchor position on the 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Saturday newscasts. He anchors with Anita Padilla and replaces Natalie Martinez, who will continue as a reporter. … Fox-owned WFLD-TV in Chicago promoted Judson Beck to VP and general sales manager. He previously served as VP and general sales manager at Fox Station Sales.