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John Lamb, Published August 20 2013

WDAY tops July TV ratings

FARGO – WDAY remains the most-watched TV station for news, according to the latest Nielsen ratings released Monday.

WDAY+ – which includes WDAZ, the Grand Forks sister station of the Fargo station – held strong as the top locally watched newscasts in the Fargo market area, 35 counties in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.

Both WDAY and WDAZ, like The Forum, are owned by Forum Communications Co.

News directors say the July book isn’t as important as the fall, winter and spring books because people spend more time away from home on vacation or just outside and away from the TV in July.

“They don’t carry as much weight,” said Jeff Nelson, WDAY news director, of the summer results. “But every ratings period is important to see trends.”

Still, Nelson was happy with what he saw.

“We’ll continue to stay on the path of putting on good, quality programming and maybe try to increase it,” he said.

Competition

The closest battle was at 5 p.m. where WDAY+’s broadcast, anchored in Fargo by Robin Huebner and Todd Kurtz, pulled in an 8 rating and 27 share, beating out KVLY’s Stephanie Goetz and a 6 rating and 21 share.

At 5:30 p.m., Andrea Larson’s newscast on KXJB – KVLY’s sister station – earned a 3 rating and a 10 share.

The gaps grow bigger into the evening. At 6 p.m., WDAY+ broadcast anchored by Kerstin Kealy and Dana Mogck in Fargo, pulled in a 12 rating and 35 share. KVLY’s broadcast with Goetz and co-anchor Mike Morken earned a 6 rating and an 18 share.

KVRR+ – which includes KBRR in Thief River Falls, Minn. – had a 2 rating and a 4 share. At 9 p.m., the KVRR newscast, anchored by Candace Thornberg, bumped up to a 7 rating and a 17 share.

At 10 p.m. WDAY+, with Kealy and Mogck anchoring in Fargo, again led with a 13 rating and a 35 share. KVLY, with Goetz and Morken, earned a 7 rating and a 19 share, while the simulcast on KXJB drew a 4 rating and a 9 share.

Asked for a comment, Ike Walker, news director of KVLY and KXJB, said he would return a phone call, but as of press time, did not.

Jim Shaw, news director at KVRR, said he was “satisfied” with his station’s results.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

John Lamb at (701) 241-5533