Contest for Free Groceries Fails to Win Ratings

We're guessing that people can not be bribe with Groceries in Milwaukee.


A contest that offered viewers a chance to win one year of groceries at Sendik’s Food Markets failed to bag a ratings win for WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) as rival WISN-TV (Channel 12) won the February sweeps ratings for key newscasts.

Channel 4 news anchors Mike Jacobs andCarole Meekins appeared in spots promoting the station’s giveaway of $100 gift cards weekly for groceries with a $5,200 grand prize of “Groceries 4 a Year.”

Contests and special “investigative reports” are common strategies employed by local TV stations as they seek to pump up ratings during the sweeps periods. Many advertisers base their decisions on the “sweeps” numbers.

Channel 12 won the newscast with the largest Milwaukee audience — 10 p.m. weeknights — with an 8.7 household rating, which was a slight increase from the station’s 8.4 rating in February 2012. Each rating point equals 9,022 homes.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 ranked second at 10 p.m. weeknights with a 7.4 rating compared with an 8.1 a year earlier.

WDJT-TV (Channel 58) ranked third at 10 p.m. with a 6.2 rating compared with 6.6 a year ago. WITI-TV (Channel 6) was fourth with a 6.0 rating compared with 5.9 in February 2012. Channel 6 also runs a full-hour newscast at 9 p.m.

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