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KABC, KTLA Newscasts Still on Top in Southland : Television: But competitors are nipping at their heels. Ann Martin’s jump to KCBS seems to have had a positive impact.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

With the O.J. Simpson case capturing the bulk of the air time, the ratings battles among local TV newscasts held true to form during the July sweeps: KABC-TV Channel 7 and KTLA-TV Channel 5 remain the most-watched newscasts in the area, although neither enjoys a lot of breathing space, according to viewing statistics released Thursday by the A.C. Nielsen Co.

Riding the advantage of its “Oprah Winfrey” lead-in, KABC again swept the three afternoon time periods over second-place KNBC-TV Channel 4. But the two tied at 11 p.m., where KABC had won a year ago by about 50,000 homes, when Ann Martin was still co-anchoring for Channel 7.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Aug. 06, 1994 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday August 6, 1994 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 14 Column 3 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
Sweeps ratings-- An article in Friday’s Calendar incorrectly reported that KTTV-TV Channel 11 finished last in the 7-9 a.m. news competition during the May ratings sweeps. In fact, it came in ahead of “This Morning” on KCBS-TV Channel 2.

Now Martin is at KCBS-TV Channel 2, and while the CBS-owned station still came in third in all news races, she seems to have had a positive impact. Channel 2’s 11 p.m. newscast scored a 35% increase over July, 1993, though Martin and co-anchor Michael Tuck still trail KABC and KNBC by about 150,000 homes.

Martin’s 5 p.m. newscast also showed a slight increase, but KCBS must cut a 200,000 home gap before it will be competitive in the afternoon.

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Among the independent stations, KTLA continued its longtime dominance in news at 10 p.m., holding steady compared to the previous July and even improving on its numbers of the May sweeps, when overall television viewing is much higher than in the summer. By contrast, most other newscasts lost viewers compared to their May totals.

Fox-owned KTTV-TV Channel 11 saw its deficit at 10 p.m. increase over what it was two months ago, but the station’s news numbers nonetheless skyrocketed 33% over those of a year ago. The station now trails Channel 5 by about 55,000 homes, shaving by half its rival’s commanding lead of a year ago.

In the morning, KNBC won the 6 a.m. news hour over KABC by a scant 5,000 homes. KTLA was third, KTTV was fourth and KCBS, which lost half of its audience from last summer, finished fifth.

KTLA, despite dropping 18% of its audience of July 1993, again dominated the 7-9 a.m. breakfast slot, trouncing all three network morning programs, all of which experienced audience defections too. KTTV finished last with its year-old morning program, but its ratings did increase 66% over its anemic debut last year. Still, KTTV’s two-hour program grabs just 6% of the audience watching television at that time, while 17% of those viewers choose KTLA.

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The July sweeps is one of four annual ratings periods that help local stations determine some advertising rates. These results reflect total households watching television, but station executives caution that in terms of determining actual advertising revenue, more specific demographic ratings--such as the totals among adults ages 18 to 49--are far more important.


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