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May 30, 2008
Channel 3 still dominates local news - but shows signs of slipping

May sweeps came to a close last week and, judging by some of the comments left here at 21Q (and similar e-mails in my in-box), a few of you are dying (dying!) to see the results in print.

Everyone take a deep breath now - the world is still spinning on its axis, with just a slight tweak of degrees.

Anyway, yes, folks, the rumors are true: For the first time since the dawn of time, Channel 3 (KCRA) did not take the 11 p.m. news time slot.

And, if we're looking at just the 11 p.m. slot, that win went to News10 (KXTV), with a 4.6 rating over Channel 3's 4.3 rating.

(Ratings chart the percentage of all homes with television; shares measure the number of TV sets turned on at a particular time.)

However, if you want to include the 10 p.m. news when talking about "late night" (and whether you do depends on whom you ask. Or which way the wind is blowing - take your pick), then Channel 13 (KOVR) actually nabbed the win, with a 5.5 rating.

(Oh yeah, and Fox40 (KTXL) also showed up to the party with a 3.7 rating for its 10 p.m. newscast, while Channel 19 (Univision) brought in a 1.0 rating for its 11 p.m. broadcast.)

Still, any way you slice it or dice it, it's a noticeable slip for Channel 3 from its February numbers in the same time slot (5.7).

Channel 3 news director Anzio Williams blames his station's notable dip on its parent network.

NBC's shown a decline in ratings across the board, Williams says.

"When prime-time viewership is down, then we have a harder time," Williams says. "Sometimes, we're the victims of what our networks give us, but I believe we're still in a solid position."

Certainly, there's no reason to cry them a river (yet). Channel 3 easily nabbed the midday news market, with a 3.3 rating over Channel 13's 2.8 and Channel 10's 2.7.

They also owned the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts, with 8.1 and 7.1 ratings, respectively, compared to Channel 13's 3.2 and 2.6 and Channel 10's 2.4 and 3.5.

The real story here, though, is just how poorly most of the stations are doing in the morning news race. While Channel 3 posted a gain at 5 a.m., eeking out a 2.2 rating over February's 1.8, it dipped ever-so-slightly at 6 a.m. (4.1, down from 4.2).

Channel 10 relatively stayed the course at 5 a.m. with a 1.1 rating but slipped at 6 a.m.with a 2.1 rating, down from February's 2.3.

Channel 31 (KMAX)'s numbers were down at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. (slipping from 2.1 and 2.7 ratings to 1.9 and 2.4, respectively), but up at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. (3.1 and 2.6 vs. February's 2.4 and 1.9).

As for Channel 13 (KOVR): That station showed no signs of life, dropping to a .7 rating at 5 a.m. - down from 1.0) and to a .99 at 6 a.m., down from 1.4.

Ouch.

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