March 5, 2004

WWL-TV's local newscasts dominate February Nielsen ratings in New Orleans

New Orleans, LA -- While New Orleans recently celebrated its world-famous Carnival parade season for two weeks during February, culminating with Mardi Gras Day on February 24th, the citys legendary CBS affiliate now has another reason to celebrate.

After Nielsens annual February ratings sweep ended on March 3rd this year, WWL-TV has again swept every local news slot with its powerful Eyewitness News franchise while also earning enviable gains in the highly competitive late news time period.

Garnering a 19 Household (HH) rating, WWL-TVs 10 p.m. newscast is up two full points from last Februarys already impressive 17 HH rating performance. Co-anchored by the talented team of Mike Hoss and Karen Swensen, Eyewitness News NightWatch practically doubled NBC affiliate WDSUs late news average (10 HH rating); nearly quadrupled ABC affiliate WGNOs late news effort (5); and easily outperformed both competitors late news numbers combined.

Channel Fours dominant 10 p.m. edition is now tied with the stations Eyewitness News at Noon as New Orleans highest-rated newscast. Providing viewers with the markets only mid-day local news and weather, anchor Eric Paulsens lunchtime half-hour also posted a 19 HH rating up one rating point from February 2003.

The morning time period also proved to be another powerhouse area for WWL-TV, as both the 6 to 7 a.m. and 7 to 8 a.m. hours of Channel Fours Eyewitness News earned another eye-opening 13 HH rating. Co-anchored by Eric Paulsen and Sally-Ann Roberts, this seasoned teams morning news block continues to deliver more viewers than all competitors evening and late local newscasts at 5, 6, 9 and 10 p.m.

And even earlier in the morning, starting with the pre-dawn news race from 5 to 6 a.m., anchor Jennifer Huntleys Early Edition averaged an 8 HH rating, nearly tripling competitor WDSU (3) while also outperforming both WDSUs and WGNOs evening newscasts.

While this years February sweep also happened to coincide with the changing dates of Carnival season, when thousands of locals line the streets for early evening parades, WWL-TVs 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts still held their formidable February 03 averages. Co-anchored by veteran journalists Angela Hill and Dennis Woltering, both editions posted the only double-digit ratings in their respective time periods.

Eyewitness News at Five earned a 15 HH rating, nearly doubling closest competitor Fox affiliate WVUE (8) and almost tripling WDSU (6). WGNO finished a distant fourth at 5 p.m. with a 3 HH rating. Hill and Woltering also commanded the market's 6 p.m. news slot, where Channel Four's enviable 18 HH rating again outperformed the combined local news efforts of both WDSU (7) and WGNO (3), and WVUEs Family Feud (7).

About WWL-TV
WWL-TV, Channel Four is part of Belo Corp., one of the nations largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with approximately 7,900 employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates news and information franchises in some of Americas most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island and the Mid-Atlantic region. Belo owns 19 television stations (six in the top 15 markets) reaching 13.8 percent of U.S. television households; owns or operates 10 cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belos daily newspapers include The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). Belo Interactives new media businesses include more than 30 Web sites, several interactive alliances and a broad range of Internet-based products. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at For more information, contact Jerry Seregni, WWL-TV Director of Research, at (504) 529-6275 or