Channel 10 and 12 in a Ratings War
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Channel 10 is the winner of most newscasts in this market. Counting the morning newscasts as one broadcast, Channel 10 wins six out of seven newscasts from sign on to sign off. That said, Channel 12 is claiming victory for one important time period – the 11:00 pm news.
The November ratings period just ended for all three Providence TV stations. These numbers are extremely important because it is the gauge that the stations use to set their advertising rates; the more eyeballs equals more dollar signs for each commercial slot. To set the ad rates stations also look at and sell demographic numbers; meaning they break down, for example, how many people between the ages of 25 and 54 years old are watching.
In the newsrooms at Channels 10 & 12 - there's a debate raging about what is the true definition of a tie.
At 11pm, Channel 10 says it is in statistical tie with Channel 12 because of how the rating numbers came out. With a rounding exercise each station would show a 6-rating. Each rating point represents about 6,200 households watching TV at a particular time.
Channel 12 General Manager Jay Howell told me that Channel 10 has it all wrong and that WPRI is the clear winner. “A half rating point difference in our favor is not a tie”. Howell says Channel 10 is only using rounding as way to show the two stations are just about even but he says he is not buying it for a minute.
Here are the numbers:
What these numbers show are a few things. There was a day when Channel 10 with the show ER had a lead-in rating of 24 or 25; now NBC primetime has sunk to numbers that are embarrassing. Channel 10’s 10pm lead-in numbers were down again this book by about 6% giving the station a 4.7 rating just before the 11pm news on WJAR. The weakness of the NBC line up hurts WJAR’s 11:00 pm news broadcast
It is worth mentioning that Channel 10 actually brings in viewers once NBC prime time shows are over. 10’s history and dominance in the market place helps with that. And not every station would be able to do that---actually bring people in when prime time delivers such a low number.
But, in the end Channel 12 claims that this recent ratings book puts the station #1 at 11pm for the 3rd consecutive year in a row.
This past Monday, both 10 & 12 made the switch to start their morning newscasts at 4:30am. Both Chris Lanni, News Director at WJAR and Joe Abouzeid, News Director at Channel 12 say there is a need and there are eyeballs wanting and watching news at 4:30am in Rhode Island. I remain less than convinced but after a few ratings books we’ll see.
But for 10 & 12, the race for viewers has really tightened up. 12 with Danielle North and Patrick Little have made a significant dent in Frank Coletta’s long running #1 status. And just recently WJAR responded by adding Barbara-Morse Silva to the anchor desk. The numbers show a tightening of the gap for sure but Coletta still has the top ratings spot in the market for the mornings. Channel 6 meantime continues to show a lack of viewership.
Here are the numbers for 5am & 6 am:
Along with Coletta’s strong and loyal following which cannot be understated, Channel 10 also enjoys a nice bump after 6am because of people who watch the Today Show. That broadcast continues to dominate here and in many other parts of the country. That said, 12 has seen an audience increase of about 40% and they are forced to deal with the ever dreadful and changing CBS morning show. So there needs to be some credit given to anchors North and Little over at Channel 12.
6pm News Race Is Tight Too
The ratings race at 6pm is tight as well at 6pm. There was a time when Channel 10 would absolutely crush 12 & 6 by triple digit rating points. Today the gap is closer and Channel 12’s Howell says the race is the closest it has been in about 20 years.
A look at the numbers shows Channel 10 is still clearly number one in the market but if you wanted to use the “rounding” method you could make the case the two stations are just two rating points away from a tie. And at 6pm in TV land here in Providence that would be un-heard of 5, 10 and certainly 15-years ago during the glory days of Doug White and Patrice Wood. In total fairness, part of 10's decline from years and years ago is that many of us just are not home at 6pm to watch the news and there are so many other programs/formats out there today that are stealing viewers from every single TV station in the country - and not just here in little ol' Rhody.
Still at the end of the day, 10's Valicenti and Wood can claim the number one spot for the "newscast of record" which has always been the 6pm news in these parts.
A breakdown of the 6pm news goes like this:
Congratulations to the 7pm news team at Channel 10. Anchors Dan Jaehnig and Alison Bologna have seen their audience increase by about 16% from its debut in November 2010. The news at 7pm is just about a half a ratings points behind historical ratings stand out “Wheel Of Fortune”.
Channel 12's 10pm news on Fox continues to be real strong and as the market's only 10pm newscast has itself positioned nicely.
GoLocalTV's online only news broadcast aired over 100,000 times in the first 2 months.
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