Thursday, May 24, 2012

Something for Everyone and Something New


Something for Everyone and Something New

KEYE TV (CBS) came close in February. In the May TV sweeps, the 10 p.m. news went to the top. KEYE is the new #1, followed by KVUE TV (ABC), and KXAN TV coming in third.

It appears that KEYE benefitted from CBS prime time programming, providing a strong lead-in audience. That’s not always the case. A television station’s worse enemy is always the remote, but appears that all three stations pretty much kept their viewers and there wasn’t much station-switching.

KEYE climbing to the top at 10 p.m. may be the biggest news, the biggest change in the ratings.

“I am very proud of our staff, who works so hard. We've put together a great team and Austin viewers have noticed,” said Suzanne Black, KEYE news director.

“Having the most-watched 10 pm news is Austin is a big responsibility, and we take our jobs seriously,” Black continued. “The goal at KEYE TV News is to bring Central Texas viewers the best news possible, every day, even outside the key ratings periods. If you have not watched our news lately, you are missing some great coverage.”

Black attributes some of their audience growth to a new effort on the part of KEYE news. “The dedication to our Waste Watch Investigations has made an impact. Since we started Waste Watch in April we have seen a tremendous response from viewers, both to our investigations and with tips on our hotline,” Black said.

KXAN again dominated the ratings at 5 and 6 p.m. followed by KVUE. KEYE has been running a game show at 5 p.m., but that’s about to change. More on that later.

“KXAN News is extremely excited with having the two highest rated newscasts in the market,” said Eric Lassberg, KXAN president and general manager. “We are encouraged that our viewers are responding positively from our in-depth and investigative efforts with Chris Willis as our lead investigator.”

KXAN says that its 5 O’clock newscast has seen a 55% increase in growth when measured year to year. Part of that growth might be attributable to preceding programming as mentioned above.

“Jeopardy” at 4 and 4:30 p.m. on KXAN has killed the competition for years, providing a nice lead-in for the station’s 5 O’clock news. NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” continued to build on that lead, handing off to the local news at 6 p.m. The audience kept on building with a slight drop-off at six, but not enough to drop KXAN down to #2.

KVUE was #2 at 6 p.m., and KEYE was #3.

KVUE rocks during the mid-day hours with big numbers for “The View” at 10 a.m. followed by KVUE Midday at 11 a.m. There is direct competition between KTBC TV (FOX) and KXAN at noon. KXAN won handily.

“KVUE Daybreak” battled it out with Fox 7 for the biggest chunks of the morning audience. Fox 7 won at 4:30 and 5 a.m. Then KVUE took #1 at 6 a.m. Fox 7 was #2. KXAN’S “News Today” was third. “KTBC was the only station to show growth year-to-year,” according Fox. This was the last rating period for KVUE’s Melissa Gale, and after 14 years, she’s going out a winner in a key time period.

Fox7 News “Good Day Austin” was also #1 in the 9-10 a.m. time slot, beating out “Live with Kelly” on KVUE and the “Today” show on NBC.

So, there is a little something for each newsroom to smile about for a little while, but the biggest smiles may be at KEYE.

Speaking of KEYE, Facebook posts recently left a clear impression that the station’s “We Are Austin Live” at 4 p.m. was reaching the end of the line. “We did some great stuff...with our hands tied behind our backs many times...and we are the better for it,” said co-host Jason Wheeler in a May 18th post.

“We Are Austin Live” failed to gain traction since its debut in September, 2009. It was all up-hill against “Jeopardy” and “Ellen” in that time slot, and the ratings were dismal. It’s going away.

What’s next for KEYE?

KEYE announced this afternoon it will re-launch a 5 p.m. newscast anchored by Judy Maggio and Ron Oliveira and Wheeler beginning June 18, 2012. KEYE says Wheeler’s role as senior reporter will be to staff the Breaking News Desk and field-anchor stories and special reports, bringing viewers more in-depth coverage. News Director Suzanne Black said, “The new 5pm newscast will be a hard news product, bringing Central Texas viewers what they have asked for.”

Let the head-to-head games begin again.

*My apologies to Fox 7. I overlooked their powerhouse morning ratings.

© Jim McNabb, 2012


Anonymous said...

Congrats KEYE. You rock Suzanne
Shane Deitert

Anonymous said...

Eric L. likes to use a boat analogy he read in a book. Here's some friendly advice.

Lawsuit Iceberg... Dead Ahead!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that KEYE is re-titling the last 15 minutes of their newscasts (which have the lowest ratings). So they basically have a 15 minute newscast now, as far as Nielsen is concerned.

This is not a three station news market, but your article sure reads that way. Bill Church had a more complete recap of the sweep.