The February Nielsen and Arbitron television ratings out this week verify that KGTV (Channel 10)'s new 15-minute local news segments between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. are a modest success.
The ratings also show that KGTV and KFMB (Channel 8) remain locked in a tight battle for audiences in the key 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, while the rebuilding efforts of KNSD (Channel 39) have yet to show a quantitative audience change for these newscasts.
Ratings from Nielsen and Arbitron gave KGTV a 50% greater share of the market for the 6-7 a.m. time slot than both KNSD and KFMB, when all three networks run news programs.
“San Diego is an early-to-rise town,” said Steve Weber, KGTV’s local sales manager. “We knew there was an audience for this. This program has been terrific for us. The demand (for advertising) exceeds the inventory (of advertising time) on a consistent basis.”
The two segments, anchored by Lisa Kim and Steve Fiorina at 6:15 a.m. and 6:45 a.m., will soon be expanded to one 30-minute morning local news program, according to KGTV officials.
In the crucial 5-6 p.m. slot when all three local network affiliates vie with one another for local news, KFMB (CBS) and KGTV (ABC) both won, depending on which rating service you’re reading.
According to Arbitron, KFMB earned a 14 rating/33 share of the audience watching the 5 p.m. news to KGTV’s 13 rating/31 share. KNSD (NBC) had a 5 rating/11 share. (A rating is a percentage of all the homes in the area with at least one television set. A share is a percentage of all the TV sets on at the time of the survey.)
But KGTV and KFMB flip-flopped in the Nielsen survey. KGTV earned a 15 rating/32 share for the 5 p.m. news, while KFMB came in a second with a 13 rating/29 share. KNSD earned a 4 rating/10 share, in the Nielsen survey for the 5 p.m. news.
“Everything is a close battle in every place,” said KFMB general manager Jim Holtzman. “It’s pretty much a repeat of the November sweeps in terms of news and how close this station and KGTV are.”
However, the Nielsen-Arbitron split can be crucial to the local stations because few media advertising buyers subscribe to both listings, television advertising executives say.
KGTV, retained its lead for the 11 p.m. news ranking one rating point and 3-5 share points ahead of KFMB in both the Nielsen and Arbitron rankings. KNSD was 1-3 rating points and 5-7 share points behind KFMB.
However, KNSD station manager Neil Derrough was “happy” over the February ratings.
“We’ve got some work to do with the news,” Derrough said, although “we stayed even. We’re in the process of rebuilding the radio station. I think we’re on course. We’re happy with where we are.”