Frigid Cold + Snow = Ratings


The cold weather and snow has kept people inside and they're watching TV newscasts, especially in the morning.

Robert Feder says that all the morning newscasts in Chicago ticked up in the ratings.

Feder writes that between 4 and 10 a.m. weekdays, viewership for the month was up across the board compared with January 2013. Ratings analysts attributed the boost mainly to weather-related coverage, including interest in school closings and commuting issues.

First-place bragging rights were split between ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, anchored by Hosea Sanders and Judy Hsu, and Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9, anchored by Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten.

In overall households the two stations had identical 3.3 ratings during the 6 a.m. hour, with ABC 7 up 10 percent and WGN up 37.5 percent. Among viewers between 25 and 54, WGN was the big winner at that hour with a 2.4 rating (up 50 percent), compared with ABC 7’s 1.6 rating (up 14.3 percent). One Nielsen rating point equals 35,340 households.

ABC 7 won in overall households in all other morning hours, while WGN dominated the 25-to-54 demo in every hour from 6 to 10 a.m. NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 generally finished third, beating ABC 7 only in the 6 a.m. hour among 25-to-54 viewers.

January even brought a ray of sunshine to the market’s two distant also-rans, CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32. Both posted increases compared with the same period last year.

Now you can bet that Chicago News Directors are hoping the nasty weather sticks around for one more month.