Picking up Steam


The George Zimmerman Trial Express is starting to pick up steam.

The Florida murder trial scored its biggest TV audiences yet Thursday morning and afternoon across local Orlando stations..

Viewers flocked to see Rachel Jeantel, the state's star witness, continue her testimony Thursday morning. The total audience was 244,200 across the five local stations.

WFTV-Channel 9 averaged 76,200 viewers, the biggest audience. The rest: WOFL-Channel 35 with 60,900 viewers, WESH-Channel 2 with 44,500, Central Florida News 13 with 39,200 and WKMG-Channel 6 with 23,400.

WFTV General Manager Shawn Bartelt has attributed the station's strong showing to the team of anchor Greg Warmoth and legal analyst Bill Sheaffer, which she says resonates with viewers.

In the 25-to-54 age group, which is most important to advertisers, WOFL placed first, and WFTV was second. WKMG ranked third, ahead of News 13 and WESH.

In the afternoon, the trial coverage averaged 242,400 total viewers across the five stations. 

In the afternoon, Fox-owned WOFL was first with 61,600 total viewers. WFTV placed second with 55,200. The rest: News 13 with 50,700 viewers, WESH with 46,800 and WKMG with 28,100.

In the 25-to-54 age group, WOFL had the most viewers: 27,700. Then came News 13 with 15,800, WKMG with 15,500, WFTV with 13,500 and WESH with 12,100.

But the TV viewing is only part of the story; the stations note that they are reaching thousands more via online. The stations' commitment to the trial coverage on TV has rearranged daytime schedules.

H/T Orlando Sentinel