It’s official: ABC 7 wins election night ratings

Alan Krashesky and Cheryl Burton

With Cheryl Burton anchoring election night coverage alongside Alan Krashesky for the first time on WLS-Channel 7, the ABC-owned station again proved a decisive winner in the ratings Tuesday.

Straight up at 10 p.m., when all five general market stations were competing head to head, ABC 7 led the Nielsen ratings in overall households and among viewers between 25 and 54. NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 was No. 2 in overall households, while Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 was No. 2 in the 25-54 demographic.

CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 were distant also-rans.

Among Spanish-language stations, Univision WGBO-Channel 66 drew twice the audience of Telemundo WSNS-Channel 44.

Ratings showed combined household viewership for all stations at 10 p.m. was 640,506 — a relatively small number for an important election, suggesting that many others were getting their news from cable networks, public broadcasting, radio or other media.

Local viewership levels peaked at 8:45 p.m. when most stations were in network coverage. Among gubernatorial candidates, Republican Bruce Rauner delivered his concession speech at 8 p.m., and Democrat J.B. Pritzker delivered his victory speech at 9:18 p.m.

Burton, a 26-year veteran of ABC 7, was promoted in June to succeed Kathy Brock as the station’s 10 p.m. co-anchor with Krashesky. It also was the first election night at WGN for newcomer Joe Donlon, who replaced Mark Suppelsa as 5, 6, 9 and 10 p.m. co-anchor with Micah Materre in April.