December 8, 2004

WWL-TV dominates New Orleans' local news with strong performance in November sweeps

New Orleans, LA -- While legendary CBS affiliate WWL-TV continued to dominate every local news time slot in the New Orleans market during the recent Nielsen November ratings period, one new success story was the impressive performance of Channel 4's recently expanded third hour of the "Eyewitness Morning News."

Averaging a remarkable 9 Household (HH) rating during its first major sweeps measurement, WWL's new 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. morning news hour out-delivered all evening newscasts on NBC affiliate WDSU, Fox affiliate WVUE and ABC affiliate WGNO. The station's expanded morning hour also drew more viewers than WVUE's and WGNO's late news efforts, and came within one rating point of equaling WDSU's 10 p.m. newscast numbers.

In fact, by 9 a.m. on any given weekday, WWL now produces more local news content -- programming four straight hours from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. -- han its competitors will for the rest of the entire broadcast day.

That day dawns on Channel 4 with anchor Jennifer Huntley, meteorologist David Bernard and TrafficWatch reporter Jill Hezeau during the "Early Edition," which posted an eye-opening 7 HH rating from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and doubled WDSU's local news average (3.5) for the same time period.

Then at 6 a.m., veteran co-anchors Eric Paulsen and Sally-Ann Roberts join Jill and David for what has now expanded into a three-hour block of the perennially popular "Eyewitness Morning News."

Both the 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. hours averaged a double-digit 11 HH rating to outperform every single evening and late newscast as well as the primetime averages on all three of WWL's competitors. The addition of a third local news hour has also increased station viewing during the 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. time slot, where "Live with Regis and Kelly" posted an 8 HH rating in November 2003.

At lunchtime, New Orleans' only local noon newscast drew a powerful 17 HH rating.

Eric Paulsen's mid-day half hour on WWL also out-delivered all competitors'evening and late newscasts in the market.

Channel 4's double-digit dominance continued into early evening, where, up against three other local newscasts, seasoned co-anchors Angela Hill and Dennis Woltering's "Eyewitness News at Five" earned a 15 HH rating. WVUE and WDSU tied for a very distant second place with 7 HH ratings at 5 p.m., while WGNO trailed with a 4 rating.

The trusted team of Hill and Woltering also commanded the six o'clock time slot with a remarkable 17 HH rating for "Channel Four's Eyewitness News," leaving both local newscasts on WDSU (8) and WGNO (3) in mere single digits at 6 p.m. Counter-programming "Family Feud" in the time period, WVUE ran a close third place to WDSU with a 6 HH rating.

Seventeen proved to be the lucky number again for WWL, when "Eyewitness News NightWatch" took the late news crown with another impressive 17 HH rating at 10 p.m. Co-anchors Mike Hoss and Karen Swensen teamed up to draw more viewers than the combined late news audiences of both WDSU (10) and WGNO (4). Third place went again to counter-programming on WVUE, who posted a 5 HH rating with "Seinfeld."

About WWL-TV
WWL-TV, Channel 4, 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 www.belo.com. For more information on WWL-TV, contact Tod Smith, local sales manager, at (504) 529-6396 or tsmith@wwltv.com.