WJZ leads the way in weekday news ratings during May sweeps

NBC's Preakness coverage on WBAL most-watched program of the month

May 24, 2012|By David Zurawik | The Baltimore Sun

Everyone in local TV says "sweeps" don't matter as much as they used to now that Baltimore has Nielsen's local people meters (contested as that data might be)

Still, everyone who does well in the Nielsen audience survey wants the world to know. And why not? All metrics are up for grabs these days, and everyone in the media wants the ones that show any successs celebrated.

WJZ (Channel 13) had another month of big Nielsen success in local news. It won every head-to-head weekday news time period with the most important audience of adults 25 to 54 years of age.

Dan Joerres, general manager of WBAL, described adults 25 to 54 as "the key demographic that most advertisers use when considering where to advertise." WJZ management agrees.

WBAL. which has not had an easy year since the departure of "Oprah," found some good news in the May ratings insofar as it finished a close second to WJZ in some of the weekday news time periods in that key deomgraphic.

In fact, the syndicated show "Ellen" topped WJZ's 4 p.m. news with viewers 25 to 54, while WJZ's news topped "Ellen" in total viewers and households.

WBAL also had the highest rated program all month in NBC's coverage last Saturday of the Preakness. An estimated 246,000 area viewers tuned in to watch the race on WBAL, Baltimore's NBC affiliate.

Maybe this goes without saying, but when it comes to Baltimore news viewing, this market is still a tale of two tiers: The top one with WJZ and WBAL, and the lower one with WBFF and WMAR. That didn't change in May.


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