The strategy of programming news morning, noon and night keeps paying off for WGN-Channel 9.
Results of the November sweeps show the Tribune Media flagship station dominating morning news viewership among adults between 25 and 54, as the broadcast marked its 20th year on the air. “Chicago’s Very Own” saw its biggest ratings boost between 4 and 6 a.m., coinciding with the recent pairing of news anchors Lourdes Duarte and Dan Ponce.
And only three months after its launch, WGN’s new 4 p.m. weekday newscast already cut into the audience for its network-owned competitors to rank second in the 25-to-54 demo. With the debut September 8 of the 4 p.m. newscast anchored by Mark Suppelsa and Micah Materre, the station increased its output to 61 hours of live local news each week.
But Chicago’s overall news leader by a substantial margin continues to be ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, which won November in total viewership for all local news time periods. ABC 7 also won the late-news ratings race in the 25-to-54 demo.
Even so, changes are imminent in the station’s front line, with chief meteorologist Jerry Taft soon to be succeeded on ABC 7’s top-rated 10 p.m. newscast by Cheryl Scott, former weekend meteorologist at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. An official announcement is expected before the end of the year.
Nielsen Monday-through-Friday late-news figures for November show ABC 7 with 328,662 households, NBC 5 with 233,244 households, WGN with 166,098 households, CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 with 148,428 households, and Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 with 66,078 households. (WGN and Fox 32 air late news at 9 p.m.; the others at 10 p.m.)