July 9, 2007

WFAA-TV/DT Sweeps Noon, 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Newscasts With Major Victories in May Dallas/Forth Worth Rating Period

Dallas, Texas For the second sweeps period in a row WFAA-TV claimed household and demographic victories at 10 p.m. and other major local news and programming time periods during May sweeps in the Dallas/Forth Worth market.

"We had an outstanding May book," said Kathy Clements, the station's president and general manager. "WFAA leads the market in key news time periods; year to year we have seen tremendous growth in every newscast both in terms of households and adult demos." In the majority of cases including the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts WFAA was the only station to show growth in local news viewership during May sweeps.

"Ours is an ultra-competitive market, so winning the 10 p.m. newscast two books in a row is a significant achievement by vice president/station manager Mike Devlin, and executive news director Michael Valentine and his staff," said Clements. She noted that the News 8 Update at 10 p.m. is the only local newscast to grow audience year to year. WFAA's late news is up 19% in the household rating, and 21% in 25-54 adults over 2006. In May, WFAA doubled KTVT (CBS) in women 25-54, and more than doubles KDFW (FOX) in the same demographic at 10 p.m. "It's a broken record, but so true: WFAA increases audience from 9:45 to 10 p.m. while other local news stations lose buckets of their viewers," added Clements. In particular she noted that even with a strong network lead in, KTVT loses 36% of their household audience from 9:45 p.m. to 10 p.m.

News 8 Daybreak continues to grow viewership, remaining number one in female key demos. The program is clearly trending upwards (up 13% in households and 44% in adults 25-54 over 2006). "We were number one in female demographics back in February," said Clements. "We have continued that trend and are growing." In 2005 News 8 Daybreak was third out of four stations in the 6-7 a.m. time slot in terms of demographics. "This kind of substantial growth is a credit to smart vision and wise management in the news department," said Clements. "The team of Jackie Hyland and Justin Farmer, Greg Fields' weather, Alexa Conomos' traffic reports and the dedicated WFAA morning staff continue to gain viewers as evidenced by the fact they are still growing, and continue winning the key demos." In the time period, all stations except WFAA decreased from 2006 levels: KXAS (NBC) is down 28% in households and 30% 25-54 year-old adults; KTVT and KDFW are down 13% and 15% in households respectively.

News 8 Midday won the battle among local noon news programs, and is up 10% and 12.5% in the household and adult demographics. The entire 5-6:30 p.m. local/network news block on WFAA was also dominant and won sweeps handily.

"News 8 at 5 p.m. was the only 5 p.m. news up over 2006 in both households and adults," said Clements. "ABC World News with Charles Gibson won the network news time slot (up 40% in households and 30% in 25-54 adult demographic over last year), and our 6 p.m. news dominated local newscasts in the time slot for the twentieth consecutive May," noted Clements. News 8 at 6 p.m. won the time period with a 7.4/15 in households -- a 42% gain in household rating from a year ago, and an increase of 46% in 25-54 adults.

Local People Meter (LPM) measurement continues to impact the market, providing a more accurate picture of news leadership with the emphasis being on a 52-week play. "When it comes to local news coverage, our performance means a lot more than just four sweeps each year," said Clements. "We have always been focused on providing our viewers with the most reliable information possible, and that is a mission that will always transcend sweeps periods."

Other WFAA programs that either won their time slots and/or experienced growth during May include Dale Hansen's Sports Special, Millionaire (up in adult demos over 2006), Oprah (leading the market in both households and adult demos again), ET (now beating Wheel of Fortune in 25-54 Adults) and Good Morning Texas (tied for first place in the household, and up 16% over 2006).

Clements also noted that during the first two month of the year, WFAA launched initiatives including the market's first high definition local newscasts, and a gleaming new studio facility in Dallas' Victory Park. "No doubt about: WFAA has a lot of positive buzz right now in the market, and around the country," said Clements. "For viewers as well as advertisers, this is a fun time to be with us."