KVUE takes over No. 1 spot in morning news
ABC affiliate does well in November sweeps
Austin ABC affiliate KVUE has taken the morning lead from NBC affiliate KXAN in the critical November sweeps ratings period, which ran from Oct. 28 to Nov. 24.
The change — KXAN had held the top spot in the 6 a.m. race during the November 2009 and May 2010 sweeps periods — puts KVUE on top in all local and network newscasts. Sweeps periods help broadcasters determine, among other things, how much to charge advertisers.
Viewership for the 6 a.m. local newscasts has grown from a year ago, with only KXAN trending downward, by one-tenth of a point since November 2009. In that same time frame, KVUE gained a full ratings point, Fox affiliate KTBC gained half a point, and CBS affiliate KEYE's 6 a.m. ratings remain unchanged.
KTBC and KVUE recently extended their early morning newscasts by half an hour, delivering local news beginning at 4:30 a.m. November sweeps gave KTBC a slight, two-tenths of a point lead in that race. Both newscasts are drawing more viewers than the CBS and NBC network feeds at that hour, though they remain practically unchanged from the ratings they garnered in that time slot a year ago.
The departure of Jay Leno's disastrous NBC prime-time show (and the weak lead-in it provided to affiliates' late, local newscasts) seemed to help KXAN for a while. In this year's May sweeps, the station's 10 p.m. ratings jumped to 4.8, up from a 3.7 during the November 2009 sweeps period.
But, perhaps because of NBC's troubled prime-time lineup ("Outlaw" and "Undercovers" have both been canceled, "Chase" is certain to be, and "Chuck," "Parenthood" and "The Event" remain on the bubble), the station's 10 p.m. ratings have dipped back down to 3.8.
KAKW, Austin's Univision affiliate, continues to see rising numbers for its 5 p.m. local and 5:30 p.m. national newscasts compared with May 2010. Its November 2009 numbers were not available.