February 28, 2008

WFAA-TV/DT Wins Critical Local News Races in Important February Sweeps, and Wins Late News for the 13th Month in a Row

Dallas, Texas -- For the fifth sweeps period in a row, and the thirteenth consecutive month, WFAA has won the all important 10 p.m. news battle, in addition to other key races, and again emerged as Dallas-Fort Worth's most watched station for local news.

WFAA president and general manager Mike Devlin said the station was pleased with the results of the sweeps, particularly the performance of the late newscast, which has now dominated the market for over a full year, as well as the continued growth of the station's early morning news.

"The February sweeps victory is significant, however we are measured on a daily basis in this market making this a 52-week battle," said Mike Devlin, WFAA president and general manager. "That WFAA has won the late news every month for more than a year now is significant."

The News 8 Update at 10 p.m. doubled KDFW (FOX), and beat KTVT (CBS) by 57% and KXAS (NBC) by 52% in February household ratings. WFAA doubled KTVT in both women 18-49 and 25-54 demographics, and beat both KXAS and KDFW in all male, female and adult demographic categories.

"In the wake of a writers strike that significantly affected the amount of original entertainment programming in primetime, during February sweeps the News 8 Update at 10 p.m. remained the market's number one late local newscast by a substantial margin," said Devlin. "Basically we had the same double digit rating we had in November when networks were providing fresh episodes every night in prime as news lead-ins. This February, nearly all of the other stations lost audience coming out of prime into late news, while WFAA grew 52% in rating and 70% in share. That speaks to how strongly viewers connect to News 8, and the overall significance of the WFAA brand."

February 2008 marks the thirteenth consecutive month that WFAA has won the late news. As sweeps end, the station is again the clear market leader at 10 p.m. logging 10 rating and 17 share which easily beat all of the other late local newscasts. According to Nielsen, one rating point in the D-FW market equals 24,356 homes.

News 8 Daybreak from 5-7 a.m. continues to be another success story for the station both in terms of households and demographics. WFAA's morning news broadcast has been number one among female demographics for the past six consecutive months, and the market leader in women 25-54 for 11 of the past 12 months. From 5-6 a.m., WFAA is now the market leader in households, as well as in all major female demographic categories. For the 5-7 a.m. block, News 8 Daybreak now leads the market in households and female demographics.

In her first major sweeps period as a WFAA news anchor, Cynthia Izaguirre has gained strong acceptance.

"Viewer feedback on Cynthia has been very good," said Devlin. "She grew up in D-FW, and knows the area well. She has meshed with the team, and as north Texans get to know Cynthia better, we expect her to recruit even more viewers, and continue Daybreak's grow."

News 8 Midday won the battle among local noon news programs, and remains the market leader in household and adult demographics.

The early evening local and network news on WFAA handily won the 5-6:30 p.m. time slots. News 8 at 5 p.m. won the time period for the twenty-first consecutive February sweeps. The newscast again swept all demographic categories. ABC World News with Charles Gibson won the network news time slot in D-FW for the 18 month in a row. The market leading News 8 at 6 p.m. grew slightly year-to-year, and also dominated the time slot for the twenty-first consecutive February sweeps with a 7 household rating and a 13 share.

Dale Hansen's Sports Special on Sunday nights swept its time slot, and programming such as Oprah, The View and ABC News Nightline, all chalked up victories in either household and/or demographic categories.