May 27, 2005
WFAA-TV grows news audience year to year mornings, 5, 6 and 10pm during important May sweeps period to remain Dallas-Fort Worth's most watched station for local news
Dallas, TX - WFAA-TV increased its news audience over the station's performance a year ago in the 2005 May sweeps. According to Nielsen Market Research (NMR) the Dallas-Fort Worth ABC affiliate grew its ratings in morning news time periods, as well as at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. to retain its long time position as the most-watched station for local news.
"We are all pleased with the station's growth year to year," said Kathy Clements, WFAA president and general manager. WFAA won the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts handily for the eighteenth May sweeps in a row and experienced nearly a full rating point growth from 5-6 a.m. and 6-7 a.m. "We are closing the gap on what is a tight morning news race," said Clements, who added that about a single rating point now separates first from third place among the local stations in this time slot.
WFAA's News 8 Update at 10 p.m. is up, Monday through Friday, from last May's 8.1 rating to an 8.3 finishing second place for the second book in a row. "ABC prime-time programming in May provided affiliates with a better platform to promote late news than a year ago," said Clements. "While ABC is gaining steam on the strength of shows including Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Lost, the 9:45 p.m. 'lead-in' continues to affect late news ratings."
While WFAA was down at 9:45 p.m. from an 8.3 to a 7.7 rating year to year, the station's late news was up. Conversely, at 9:45 p.m., Monday through Friday during May 2005 sweeps, CBS (KTVT) increased audience from a 12.1 in 2004 to a 12.7, however the station's 10 p.m. news decreased from an 8.7 to an 8.2 in the same time frame. NBC (KXAS) tallied an 11.7, up over a year ago yet their late news also declined during the same period. WFAA won but a single 9:45 p.m. quarter hour in May yet increased audience from 9:45 to 10 p.m. 65% of the time, or on 13 out of 20 weeknights. In May KTVT increased audience on just 2 of 20 weeknights, or only 10% of the time, losing an average of 35% of their lead-in audience. "KTVT won 8 of 20 weeknights at 9:45 p.m. while WFAA won only a single night, yet WFAA ranked higher in late news than KTVT," said Clements.
News 8 at 5 p.m. and News 8 at 6 p.m. continue their unbeaten streak leading the market by significant margins in their respective time periods. Jeff Brady and Macie Jepson anchor at 5 p.m. while John McCaa and Gloria Campos anchor the 6 p.m. newscast. "The strength and market popularity of these anchors is clear and one of the many reasons WFAA dominates the early evening time periods," said Clements. News 8 at 5 p.m. posted a market-leading 6.9 rating and a 14 share, or a 36% advantage over the nearest competitor. News 8 at 6 p.m. also swept the time slot with a 7.5/14. WFAA's 6 p.m. newscast beats KXAS by 38%, third place KDFW by 42%, and fourth place KTVT by 48%. Year to year KXAS experienced a downturn with all of their early evening newscasts tallying losses in audience with their local news at 4, 5 and 6 p.m., as well as NBC Nightly News.
WFAA also gained ground over last May in terms of syndicated programming such as Oprah. "The show has experienced a reinvigoration and the ratings tell the story. Oprah is up book to book, from a 6.2 to a 7.5 year to year," said Clements. Dale Hansen's Sports Special, the station's long running weekend wrap-up show, also swept its time slot for the fourth book in a row. Clements said that several key network shows including The View, ABC's Good Morning America, ABC's World News Tonight, as well as prime time also performed well in May. She added that ABC has experienced a "positive buzz" of late and hopes to capitalize on the popularity in the new fall season.
Nielsen's Live Plus system measures all "live" and "time-shifted" viewing. The reporting process takes seven days thus ratings are not necessarily final until combined. All Live Plus data is to be rolled into the final numbers listed in the May book. While most of the time-shifted viewing affects prime time, it may also have an impact on viewing for other programs such as Oprah.
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 7,600 employees and $1.5 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates in some of America's most dynamic markets in Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic. Belo owns 19 television stations, six of which are in the 15 largest U.S. broadcast markets. The Company also 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). The Company also publishes specialty publications targeting young adults, affluent populations and the fast-growing Hispanic market, including Quick and al dia in Dallas/Fort Worth, and the d, El D and La Prensa in Riverside. Belo operates more than 30 Web sites associated with its operating companies. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Carey Hendrickson, vice president/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at 214-977-6626.