Summer Ratings Sunny for WLKY, WHAS

Today staffers at WLKY got a congratulatory memo from GM Glenn Haygood.

The big news — WLKY is declaring a victory in the July ratings sweeps. Haygood’s memo notes that in all competitive time periods for local programming, WLKY and WHAS won every one. So WAVE doesn’t win a single time period, nor does WDRB.

So let’s try to figure out why this keeps happening, outside of the possibility that more people enjoy the WLKY and WHAS local news product.

WLKY’s dominance in late night is easy to explain. The CBS primetime lineup has delivered dominating numbers both during the week and on weekends. But WLKY has won late-nights for the last six years, according to Haygood, and it’s hard to give all that credit to the CBS lead-in.  WHAS loses some of its 11 p.m. audience to its 10 p.m. broadcast on WBKI, and when you combine those two ratings numbers, more people watch WHAS late nights.

But this is an argument waged between WHAS and WLKY every sweeps period.

And the numbers also point to another TV watching fact — where the competition is between local news programming and almost anything else, viewers go for anything else.  How else to explain how WLKY’s afternoon soap, The Young and Restless, delivers an audiene nearly a third larger than Fox’s 4 p.m. news or even Oprah. That helps explain the WLKY 5 p.m. news victory, which wins the time period before falling behind WHAS at 5:30.

Then there’s the 7-8 p.m. hour, where viewers in droves turn to Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy over WAVE’s news and the syndicated Extra. WHAS airs ET and Inside Edition, both of which finish second. Sitcom reruns on WDRB finish fourth.

One of the most competitive time periods, and one that has little to do with lead-ins, is the 6-7 a.m. weekday hour. WHAS wins that one, followed by WAVE, WLKY and WDRB. At 7, when the top three networks go to national broadcasts, NBC’s Today show takes over the top spot, and Fox41, with the only local program at that hour, slides ahead of WHAS and WLKY.

Haygood’s WLKY memo points out that the station’s programming in prime time, fringe and prime access time periods were dominant. So other than improving newscasts, other stations might want to find something to beat The Young and the Restless, Jeopardy and shows like CSI and Big Brother.

9 thoughts on “Summer Ratings Sunny for WLKY, WHAS

  1. declaring a win in JULY?? Isn’t that like winning a horse race where only one other animal’s in the gate with you? I mean, come on…July and February are toss out months in ratings and even Haygood knows that. Viewing habits are completely skewed by the warm weather, school being out, you name it.

    But if you’re going to talk about “all competitive time periods,” how can anyone gloss over the shalacking 32 takes in the morning. It doesn’t count all of a sudden because LKY can’t win it with the lame mis-match of talent there now? Come on. They won where they won because of their lead in….and they blame their loss in the morning on the Early show. Which doesn’t work because they won the morning show back when Kim Stevens was on it. Once they moved her and put Lurch in her place, the whole deal fell apart. Then Haygood started ripping the place apart, running out all the people who scored the win….and they sit in third in the morning in a critical hour. Talk about bad management. Haygood can boast only that his bad decisions have yet to destroy all the newscasts…Now does anyone want to talk about the 6 p.m.? What kind of memo did Judge Judy send out for beating LKY? did she send flowers? John Boel has to sit back and laugh at the demise of that show.

    Haygood better keep on sending memos to claim credit for wins he had nothing to do with…maybe that will distract his bosses from the disasters he’s created everywhere else.

  2. As a part of the group that made WHAS11 news number one many years ago, I am proud that the latest group of guys and gals have continued the legacy. LKY news has a good group of people, but as so often happens, management can really screw things up….look at WDRB and their Bill Lamb who apparently thinks he’s Ed. Murrow. WAVE offers no reason to watch their news. I thank LKY for keeping HAS on its toes, it benefits all of us who love news.

  3. Love your comment about Lamb(chop), Buddy Boy.
    I may have worked with you back then at ‘HAS.
    How things have changed….

  4. Boel for Moses is a definite plus for 32 in the a.m., though the loss of Boel in other time slots has probably hurt them. But I agree with “credit”….. moving Kim Stevens and Abbey Miller off the a.m. show was not a great move.

  5. No longer cares…..boy you are right…things have changed and not necessarily for the better. It was fun, for the most part, back when, not sure reporters today would say the same thing,

  6. I think all agree it’s certainly not as much as it used to be. Newsrooms are having to do more with lesser resources and bloggers are holding folks more accountable than Tom Dorsey ever did.

    I don’t think the coat-tail effect of popular lead-ins can be overstated — especially when smart news promoters tease solid (as opposed to sensationalistic) stories during them.

    On that note, I believe it was a mistake for WHAS to switch its network affiliation from CBS to ABC. Ironically, Jim Mitchell, who reigned supreme as WHAS anchor during its heyday, broke that story on WDRB.

    There was a time, long ago, that WHAS-TV news dominated the market. But they’ve lost some key senior talent (Mark, Chuck & Ken, e.g.) and a measure of their luster.

    WLKY may have made a mistake in the morning, but their overall success owes largely to a veteran staff, the best-tenured in the market. Viewers are comfortable with Fred, Rick, Vicki, Steve, John and Jay. Seems like they’ve been there forever.

    WAVE has some very good talent, but their morning show needs an(other) enema. Their most popular personalities probably don’t want to get up at 3 a.m. — and since they can’t pay ‘em what ABC pays Diane Sawyer, their best option is to hire some uber-charismatics (like Chris Parente) who are willing to settle in for a long struggle for a respectable share.

    Mediocrity won’t git ‘er done.

    I like WDRB’s product generally (not to mention Bernson and Irby), and I believe they deserve better ratings, but they’re probably disadvantaged by the FOX affiliation.

  7. Local TV is practically unwatchable. I seldom turn them on anymore. There isn’t a single ONE local personality that would cause me to watch a particular station. In my opinion, a station that stopped promoting their people as personalities, stopped the awkward transitions, chatting and forced giggles and started doing a no-nonsense approach would eventually stand out in the pack. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see your news anchor say “And now – the sports. With that here’s….” I really don’t care how much rain fell at John Boel’s house or if Dawne Gee loves chocolate chip cookies. That’s all superfluous happy talk that has ruined a formerly respectable profession. A station could easily position itself as “NO NONSENSE” and promote the professionalism of its people. God, it would be an oasis.

  8. Glad to see that wlky is not so stupid after all…they had sense enough to go get Ms. Kim Stevens back

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