May 22, 2009
WWL-TV Wins May Sweeps and Accepts Peabody Award
During the May 2009 Nielsen rating period, WWL-TV's local news was once again the highest rated in southeast Louisiana, continuing a streak that has lasted over 30 years. Also in May, the Eyewitness News team received Channel 4's seventh George Foster Peabody award.
Anchor/reporter Lee Zurik accepted the Peabody award, considered broadcasting's highest honor, for a multi-part investigation of the non-profit city agency, New Orleans Affordable Homeownership. Zurik made reference to former WWL journalist Phil Johnson and stated, "At a time when our industry is facing challenges and journalism is being tested, I'm proud to work for a television station and for a company that still believes in what Phil did in 1972 covering the important stories and doing whatever it takes to tell them."
During the May sweeps, WWL-TV did indeed cover a number of important stories and in the process beat its competition in every time period. Channel 4's "Eyewitness Morning News" from 7-9 AM, featuring co-anchors Sally-Ann Roberts and Eric Paulsen, earned a 10.1 rating which is higher than ratings of all the competing newscasts - combined. Paulsen also anchored "Eyewitness News at Noon," which drew a 14 rating, beating its only noon news competitor by over eleven points.
Co-anchors Angela Hill and Dennis Woltering helped "Eyewitness News at Five" earn a 12.5 rating, again higher than the combined ratings of all the competing newscasts. In addition, Hill and Woltering's "Eyewitness News at Six" drew a 12.4, more than doubling its closest competitor.
At 10 PM, "Eyewitness News Nightwatch," co-anchored by Mike Hoss and Lucy Bustamante, earned a 13.7 rating, over six points higher than its closest late news competitor.
In his concluding comments at the Peabody ceremony, Zurik said, "New Orleans is still fighting to recover from Katrina's devastation. Since the storm, our job as journalists, our reason for being, is more critical than ever. And this prestigious honor only helps validate the work we do and the importance to the community we serve."
Source: Nielsen New Orleans overnights, rolling averages (Apr. 23, 2009 to May 20, 2009)
About Belo Corp.
WWL is part of Belo Corp. (BLC), one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, with 2008 annual revenue of $733 million. The Company owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. A Belo station ranks first or second in nearly all of their local markets. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Paul Fry, vice president/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at 214-977-6835.