ABC 7 rings in new year with top ratings

Mark Giangreco and Janet Davies

Just as they’ve been doing for 17 years, Mark Giangreco and Janet Davies rang in another New Year with style, humor and their trademark smooch at midnight.

One gag this year had the camera cut away to a test pattern just as the two sexagenarians went in for a lip lock. Another running joke involved the gaudy brooch Davies was wearing. She said it was an iguana, then a fox, but to many tweeters it resembled a rodent.

Nielsen figures released Monday showed Giangreco and Davies still reigning supreme as king and queen of Chicago’s unofficial New Year’s Eve prom.

Straight up at midnight, “Countdown Chicago 2018” on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 had a 16.8 rating and 39 share, while “New Year’s Eve Live in Chicago” on NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 had a 5.0 rating and 12 share, according to Nielsen overnight ratings.

That translates to 554,349 households for ABC 7 versus 164,9851 households for NBC 5. Combined viewership for the two stations was about the same as last year, but ABC 7’s ratings were up 36 percent from last year while NBC 5’s declined 48 percent from its “Chi-Town Rising” spectacle in 2017.

In addition to Giangreco and Davies, ABC 7’s “Countdown Chicago 2018” featured Terrell Brown, Hosea Sanders, Cheryl Scott, Liz Nagy, Val Warner, Ryan Chiaverini and Ji Suk Yi.

NBC 5’s “New Year’s Eve Live in Chicago” was hosted by Marley Kayden and Kalee Dionne, along with radio personalities Christopher “Fred” Frederick of Kiss FM and Joe Soto of V103.

Monday’s best comment: Susan Roling: This next year is going to be a spiral downward if the news people don’t find a way to stand up to Sinclair Broadcasting.