December 2, 2004

WFAA-TV remains the most-watched local news station in D/FW in November sweeps

Dallas, TX -- November sweeps have ended and again WFAA-TV reigns as the Dallas/Fort Worth market's leading local news station with wins at noon, 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., a virtual tie at 10 p.m. and significant growth in other important news and programming areas, according to Nielsen Media Research.

"We are pleased that WFAA is now basically tied for the lead at 10 p.m.," said the station's president and general manager Kathy Clements. She credited the station's news department, and the entire WFAA staff for their aggressive commitment to the station's late newscast. "Considering the fact that the ABC prime lead-in was third, and WFAA news following moved beyond the CBS owned station, which was first in terms of a prime lead-in, speaks volumes."

At 10 p.m. WFAA grew the late news number 17% from May to November with a 9.5/15, which is up over May's 8.1/13 (WFAA's number reflects Tuesday-Friday during November sweeps due to ABC Monday Night Football overruns).

"There is no doubt that prime time lead-ins affected everyone's 10 p.m. news numbers," said Clements. WFAA's late local news, the News 8 Update at 10 p.m., is one of the few in America that continually and consistently increases audience coming out of prime. In November, WFAA increased audience nearly two-thirds of the time, while so many others, most notably the CBS station in our market simply fall off. Despite the fact that CBS gave KTVT a CSI lead in at 9 p.m. on 10 of 20 nights (CSI is the #1 prime lead-in) they still came in third." From 9:45 to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, KTVT lost an average of 27%, or one out of every four of their viewers tuned away from their late newscast.

Clements said as ABC's prime performance improves, so shall the station's late news numbers. "Lead-in success can certainly contribute to late news viewership; for instance, the network lead-in at 9:45 p.m. for the market's CBS station has increased May to November and year-to-year, however they continue to drop off at 10 p.m. despite such advantages. These numbers mean viewers make conscious decisions to turn away from top programming such as the various CSI shows and turn away from KTVT to WFAA or an entertainment alternative at 10 p.m. That says a lot about their newscast."

The station also enjoyed dominating wins at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. in November.

"This marks 17 years in a row that WFAA has won the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts--and, as usual, by wide margins," said Clements. "The anchor teams of Macie Jepson and Jeff Brady at 5 p.m., and Gloria Campos and John McCaa at 6 p.m., combined with the most experienced weathercaster in the market, Troy Dungan, and Dale Hansen's 'must see' sportscasts make these Dallas-Fort Worth's early news 'broadcasts of record,' as reflected in the program's continued strong ratings."

News 8 at 5 p.m. won the time period with a 7.6/15, up over May 2004's 6.4/13. In terms of November WFAA owns a 46% advantage over KXAS the nearest competitor. News 8 at 6 p.m. also dominated the time period with an 8.7/14, which is up over the station's 7.4/14 performance in May sweeps. The distance between WFAA and the next closest news station is sizable with a 43% advantage over the nearest competitor.

Early mornings feature a tight race; according to Nielsen Media Research only a single rating point separates first from third place. WFAA's 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. News 8 Daybreak ratings grew 19% May to November. The station made a series of changes this fall. "We believe we are making steady progress in this area," said Clements. WFAA also experienced other wins and gains of special note in sweeps. Syndicated and network programming on WFAA that increased audience either year-to-date, or May to November include: Oprah; ABC World News Tonight; ABC Monday Night Football; Dale Hansen's Sports Special, the market's leading local Sunday night sports wrap up program.

WFAA-TV is part of Belo Corp., one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with approximately 7,600 employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates media franchises in some of America's most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic. Belo owns 19 television stations (six in the top 15 markets); owns or operates seven cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo's daily newspapers are The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). Belo operates more than 30 Web sites, several interactive alliances and a broad range of Internet-based products. Additional information, including earnings releases and corporate communications, is available online at . For more information contact David Muscari, vice president/strategic alliances at 214.977.6490.