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John Lamb, Published February 05 2014

WDAY draws most TV viewers; KVLY claims wins in demographics

FARGO – Valley News Live’s locally produced morning show isn’t opening as many eyes as the program it replaced.

With its first ratings period in the books, “North Dakota Today” attracted fewer viewers than “Live with Kelly and Michael,” which was picked up by Fargo-based WDAY and its sister station in Grand Forks, WDAZ.

“North Dakota Today” is KVLY’s 9 a.m. lifestyle show featuring Fargo hosts Andrea Larson and Chris Berg and Bismarck counterparts Monica Hannon and Kevin Stanfield. The show started in the early fall.

The most recent Nielsen ratings, which tracked viewers from Oct. 31 to Nov. 27, show “North Dakota Today” earning a 2 rating and a 12 share in the Fargo market area, which consists of 35 counties in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. “Live with Kelly and Michael,” also on at 9 a.m., earned a 4 rating and a 29 share.

A rating is the percentage of people watching out of a total viewing market area. A share is the percentage of people with TVs on.

“We’re pretty pleased with the start of ‘North Dakota Today,’ ” said Jim Wareham, KVLY/KXJB president and general manager.

Wareham is more concerned with demographics than ratings.

“The overwhelming majority of our advertising is between 18 and 54, 90-some percent, and that’s where the money is,” he said. “That’s where you have to have the numbers to make the advertising revenue.”

In a note to viewers on the station’s site, Wareham wrote that “North Dakota Today” was up in every female demographic, especially women ages 25 to 54, which he called “the most coveted demographic” because women make decisions on household purchases and advertisers want to reach them.

Wareham was also happy with Chris Berg’s issue-oriented show on KXJB, “6:30 P.O.V.,” though the show skews older than the 25- to 54-year-old female demographic.

“He’s building strong numbers in that older demographic and for a local show,” Wareham said. “There’s growth book to book and you can’t complain about that.”

“6:30 P.O.V.” earned a 3 rating and a 7 share. “Wheel of Fortune” on KVLY still dominates the slot with a 14 rating and a 31 share. “Entertainment Tonight” on WDAY drew an 8 rating and an 18 share and KVRR’s reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” garnered a 2 rating and a 5 share.

In the note on KVLY’s website, Wareham thanks viewers for giving “Valley News Live a win in the November Nielsen news ratings,” but in terms of ratings and shares, WDAY+, the combination of WDAY and WDAZ, still led in the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts in the Fargo market area.

In the metro area – Cass, Clay and Barnes counties –KVLY bested WDAY in only one newscast. The 5 p.m. news, anchored by Stephanie Goetz, earned an 8 rating and a 26 share, narrowly edging out WDAY, anchored in the last ratings period by Robin Huebner and Dana Mogck, which had an 8 rating and a 25 share.

Jeff Nelson, news director at WDAY, said ratings continually ebb and flow, and for the most part, he was happy about his station’s showing.

“We’re the station most people turn to to get their news, head and shoulders above the rest,” he said.

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

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533