Editors note: The original story inadvertently left out ratings for KTBC-TV. This update includes those results.
The May 2012 TV sweeps in Austin have come to end, revealing some shifts in the local top station slots, as well as some new programming initiatives on the horizon.
KEYE TV (CBS) came close in February, but in the May TV sweeps, the 10 p.m. news went to the top. KEYE is the new #1, followed by KVUE TV (ABC), with KXAN TV coming in third.
It appears that KEYE benefited from CBS prime time programming, providing a strong lead-in audience. That’s not always the case. A television station’s worse enemy is always the remote, but it appears that all three stations pretty much kept their viewers and there wasn’t much station-switching.
KEYE climbing to the top at 10 p.m. may be the biggest news, the biggest change, in the ratings.
“I am very proud of our staff, who works so hard. We've put together a great team and Austin viewers have noticed,” says Suzanne Black, KEYE's news director.
“Having the most-watched 10 p.m. news in Austin is a big responsibility, and we take our jobs seriously,” Black continues. “The goal at KEYE TV News is to bring Central Texas viewers the best news possible, every day, even outside the key ratings periods. If you have not watched our news lately, you are missing some great coverage.”
“The dedication to our Waste Watch Investigations has made an impact. Since we started Waste Watch in April we have seen a tremendous response from viewers, both to our investigations and with tips on our hotline.”
Black attributes some of their audience growth to a new effort on the part of KEYE news. “The dedication to our Waste Watch Investigations has made an impact. Since we started Waste Watch in April we have seen a tremendous response from viewers, both to our investigations and with tips on our hotline,” Black says.
“KXAN News is extremely excited with having the two highest rated newscasts in the market,” says Eric Lassberg, KXAN President and General Manager. “We are encouraged that our viewers are responding positively from our in-depth and investigative efforts with Chris Willis as our lead investigator.”
KXAN says that its 5 p.m. newscast has seen a 55% increase in growth when measured year to year. Part of that growth might be attributable to preceding programming as mentioned above.
Jeopardy at 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on KXAN has killed the competition for years, providing a nice lead-in for the station’s 5 o'clock news. NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams continued to build on that lead, handing off to the local news at 6 p.m. The audience kept on building with a slight drop-off at six, but not enough to drop KXAN down to #2.
KVUE was #2 at 6 p.m., and KEYE was #3.
“KVUE Daybreak” battled it out with Fox 7 for the biggest chunks of the morning audience. Fox 7 won at 4:30 and 5 a.m. Then KVUE took #1 at 6 a.m. Fox 7 was #2. KXAN’S “News Today” was third. “KTBC was the only station to show growth year-to-year,” according Fox. This was the last rating period for KVUE’s Melissa Gale, and after 14 years, she’s going out a winner in a key time period.
Fox7 News “Good Day Austin” was also #1 in the 9-10 a.m. time slot, beating out “Live with Kelly” on KVUE and the “Today” show on NBC.
There is a little something for each newsroom to smile about for a little while, but the biggest smiles may be at KEYE.
So, there is a little something for each newsroom to smile about for a little while, but the biggest smiles may be at KEYE.
Speaking of KEYE, Facebook posts recently left a clear impression that the station’s We Are Austin Live at 4 p.m. was reaching the end of the line. “We did some great stuff... with our hands tied behind our backs many times... and we are the better for it,” said co-host Jason Wheeler in a post on May 18.
We Are Austin Live failed to gain traction since its debut in September, 2009. It was all up-hill against Jeopardy and Ellen in that time slot, and the ratings were dismal. It’s going away.
What’s next for KEYE?
KEYE announced Thursday afternoon it will re-launch a 5 p.m. newscast anchored by Judy Maggio, Ron Oliveira and Jason Wheeler beginning June 18, 2012. KEYE says Wheeler’s role as senior reporter will be to staff the breaking news desk and field-anchor stories and special reports, bringing viewers more in-depth coverage.
News Director Suzanne Black said, “The new 5 p.m. newscast will be a hard news product, bringing Central Texas viewers what they have asked for.”
Let the head-to-head games begin again.
*My apologies to Fox 7. I overlooked their powerhouse morning ratings.