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NEW: RI’s NBC 10 Beats Wheel of Fortune, Makes Ratings History

Friday, March 08, 2013


NBC 10 News' 7pm broadcast with Dan Jaehnig and Alison Bologna has beaten out time period powerhouse, Wheel of Fortune. No wonder they're smiling.

It was a historic ratings period for Rhode Island's NBC 10 News in February, as the 7:00 pm broadcast with Dan Jaehnig and Alison Bologna beat former time-period powerhouse Wheel of Fortune. Can you spell V-I-C-T-O-R-Y?

With a 7.32 rating, NBC 10 News at 7:00pm increased its audience more than 24% in one year. Further, for the first time ever, NBC 10 was the most watched television news station in Southern New England during the recently completed February ratings period according to preliminary data from the Nielsen Company (Nielsen Media, February 2013).

"It was an incredibly rewarding success in February to finally beat this previous ratings dominator," said Christopher Lanni, NBC 10 News Director. "It took four years from the launch of the 7pm to topple Wheel of Fortune. To date, no other programming in this timeslot has ever beaten that show. The team has been working tirelessly toward achieving this success – Dan and Alison and the entire team really put their heart and soul into this show. We’re also proud of the fact that we’re one of the highest rated 7pm newscasts in the entire country."

The competition in Rhode Island

NBC 10 was number one in all time periods and beat the competition (WPRI/WNAC and WLNE) combined during NBC 10 News Sunrise, 5:00pm, 5:30pm and 6:00pm. Not only did NBC 10 win all of these time periods, the news station also showed substantial growth in each of these key day-parts, increasing its ratings gap between the nearest competitors. With an 8 rating, NBC 10 News at 5:00pm saw 9% growth. With 9 and 10 ratings respectively, NBC 10 News at 5:30pm and 6:00pm both saw a 15% audience increase. Each rating point equals 6,200 viewers.

NBC 10 News at 11:00pm received a 7 rating compared to WPRI’s 5 rating (which represents a 9% year-to-year ratings drop). Despite a 17% decrease in the network lead-in, NBC 10 News at 11:00pm with Patrice Wood and Dan Jaehnig has seen a 14% year-to-year audience increase and is now more dominant in the time period than any time since May, 2009.

Local, local, local

“Southern New Englanders overwhelmingly turned to NBC 10 News during this time period,” said Chris Lanni, NBC 10 News Director. “With our continued on-air blizzard coverage and in-depth investigative stories from the I-Team and Money Watchers, we feel we have raised the bar on local news content.” 

Lanni credits a return to original content and more in-depth investigative reporting as the drivers to consumers watching local news again. "In 2012, we were able to add resources to the I-Team, the first investigative unit in RI originally formed in 1979; and add a new division, Money Watchers, dedicated to uncovering tax-payer funded waste in local government," he said.

The newly-expanded NBC 10 I-Team broke several important stories during the February ratings period. Chief I-Team reporter Jim Taricani exposed a questionable practice that forces taxpayers to shell out millions of dollars annually to buy over-the-counter medications for those on public assistance. I-Team reporter Katie Davis revealed that many Providence nightclubs have not had fire inspections in nearly 10 years. I-Team reporter Parker Gavigan uncovered a local building inspector seemingly using his position to make personal profits on real estate transactions.


Does the surge in NBC 10's numbers create momentum behind the once-dominant brand asserting itself again in the marketplace? "WJAR has always remained the dominant local news source," Lanni said, "[and] our growth during the last two sweeps periods (November 2012 and February 2013) has been very rewarding. We know that more Southern New Englanders are watching our news programming on a regular basis than anyone else combined. We also point to the success of the 11pm newscast which is enjoying the largest ratings advantage in five years (since 2009) despite NBC now being the 5th rated network in the country."


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