Waiting for sweeps stats

WBAL, WJZ

November 27, 2003|By David Folkenflik

The November ratings period that helps to set advertising rates is all but complete. And both of the Titans of Television Hill are busy bragging.

For the "sweeps" period ending tonight, WBAL-TV seems highly likely to take top ratings for its 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts, and for the 11 p.m. news programs on Monday through Friday. The NBC affiliate also has the highest-rated weekend morning shows as of the figures available early yesterday morning.

Yet it is possible that WJZ, a CBS station with the No. 1 prime-time lineup in the market, will snare highest ratings for the 11 p.m. newscasts when the full week is considered. It holds leads over the region's other news programs in the weekday morning hours, at noon, and, of course, at 4 p.m. - not surprisingly, as WJZ's program is the only one based in Baltimore to air at that time. (Perhaps the most interesting development was the near-doubling of the audience for WBFF-TV's morning newscast when compared with last November, though it was starting from meager levels.)

The true winner will be the promotions departments of both stations, which, in the past, have responded to such situations by devising new ad campaigns that devolve into an orgy of self-congratulation. Go get 'em, kids. -

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