What if you spent several million dollars to launch a local newscast -- and then found out its audience was only about as large as the one you already had watching reruns of "Simon & Simon"?
That's the news WBFF-TV (Channel 45) got yesterday with the first ratings report card for "News at Ten," which was launched in June. The Nielsen audience survey for July said that about 19,000 Baltimore-area homes tuned in each weeknight to Channel 45's news, which airs from 10 to 11.
The Channel 45 newscast did slightly better in the Arbitron ratings survey, with an audience measured at about 28,000 homes.
Otherwise, the Arbitron and Nielsen ratings showed no significant overall change in local news standings: WJZ (Channel 13) is still the dominant No. 1 station, with WMAR (Channel 2) a solid second and WBAL (Channel 11) third.