ABC 7 news back on top in July

Cheryl Burton, Ron Magers and Kathy Brock

Cheryl Burton, Ron Magers and Kathy Brock

Longtime market leader ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 was back on top of the late-news ratings in July after NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 won the key adult demographics by a slender margin in May.

Nielsen numbers obtained through independent sources Thursday initially showed ABC 7 ahead at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. weekdays in overall households and among viewers between 25 and 54 — the prized demo for advertisers. Figures later provided by NBC 5, however, showed the 10 p.m. race was a tie for first place in the adult demo.

In any case, NBC 5 remained highly competitive, narrowing the gap with ABC 7 in every time period from one year ago.

Jorge Barbosa and Erika Maldonado

Jorge Barbosa and Erika Maldonado

The increasing potency of Hispanic viewership was evident in the strong performance by WGBO-Channel 66. Among adults between 25 and 54 and between 18 and 49 the Univision Spanish-language station finished in second place at 5 p.m. and third place at 10 p.m.

It’s a validation for the Univision Chicago anchor team of Jorge Barbosa and Erika Maldonado, who’ve been on a roll since Maldonado, a reporter at the station since 2004, was promoted to anchor alongside 20-year veteran Barbosa.

Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9 again swept the adult demos for its “must watch” WGN Morning News and widened its commanding lead in households and demos at 9 p.m. weekdays over Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.

The biggest loser was CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, where ratings were down substantially from last year in every news time period. Simply put, the station appears to be in free fall.

Consider this: Not one of CBS 2’s newscasts from morning to night exceeded a 0.6 percent rating among viewers between 25 and 54. Some barely registered with a 0.1 rating. Lower than that and you’re invisible.