Local news ratings more competitive

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So many decisions to make at lunchtime: Pepsi vs. Coke, pizza vs. salad. One of the tougher ones in recent months has been choosing a noon newscast.

The TV news race in Pittsburgh is tighter than most, and results from The Nielsen Co. indicate that some time slots are getting even more competitive.

Take the noon broadcast, long the domain of KDKA. Although the CBS affiliate is still head and shoulders above the rest in terms of household ratings, in demographic, it's now tied with WPXI, and WTAE is close behind both.

A year ago, KDKA enjoyed a 2.0 rating among the prime 25-54 viewer demo, which is the basis for setting advertising rates. It also had a 13 percent share in that category.

PG graphic: TV news ratings
(Click image for larger version)

The newest Nielsen figures, which tracked a period from Oct. 31-Nov. 27, have KDKA tied with WPXI at 1.5 demo rating and 12 share. WTAE is at 1.4/11.

But in household ratings -- which represent a popularity percentage of the roughly 1.1 million TV households in the Pittsburgh market -- KDKA stayed strong at 8.0/24. The other two, WTAE (4.6/14) and WPXI (3.5/10) actually dropped a bit from a year ago.

The 11 p.m. news also is getting more competitive in the 25-54 demographic. KDKA continues to stay in front in households, but WPXI moved into first in the demo, and WTAE was second there as well.

In the mornings, WTAE continues to lead in most categories, beginning at 4:30. The afternoon is a different story, with the syndicated "Dr. Oz" providing a weak lead-in ("Judge Judy" remains the WPXI lead-in to the station's 5 p.m. newscast).

"Dr. Oz" slipped in households during the year, from 3.4/8 to 3.2/7 and in demo, from 1.1/6 to .8/5. "Judge Judy" also stumbled.

A year ago at 10 p.m., KDKA on WPCW was still holding off WPXI's Channel 11 Fox 53@10. As of last week, the Fox 53@10 broadcast had jumped into the lead from 10-10:30.

In households, Fox 53@10 was up 3.4/6 compared to WPCW's 2.8/4, and ahead in demo, 2.0/5 compared to .9/2.

Maria Sciullo can be reached at msciullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.

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