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John Lamb, Published April 03 2014

WDAY maintains TV news ratings lead, but KVLY is gaining ground

FARGO – WDAY-TV maintained its top spot among local news viewers, according to the most recent ratings period.

The latest Nielsen Ratings, from Jan. 30 through Feb. 26, showed that while WDAY was the top draw at 5, 6 and 10 p.m., chief rival KVLY is gaining ground.

The ratings cover the metro area – Cass, Clay and Barnes counties – as well as the entire Fargo market area, 35 counties in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.

In the Fargo market area at 5 p.m., KVLY earned a 9 rating and a 25 share, up from a 7 rating and a 20 share a year ago. WDAY + –which includes sister station WDAZ in Grand Forks – slipped from an 11 rating and a 32 share last February to a 10 rating and 27 share this year.

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.

In the metro area at 5 p.m., KVLY, anchored by Stephanie Goetz, dropped to a 7 rating and a 22 share, down from a 9 rating and a 27 share last year. WDAY, anchored by Robin Huebner and Dana Mogck, held its 10 rating and 33 share.

At 6 p.m. KVLY, with Goetz and co-anchor Mike Morken, was up in the larger Fargo market, from an 8 rating and an 18 share a year ago to an 11 rating and a 23 share. WDAY +, with Mogck and Kerstin Kealy, slipped from an 18 rating and a 41 share to a 15 rating and a 31 share.

WDAY and WDAZ are owned by Forum Communications Co. which publishes The Forum.

The trend continued in the metro, where KVLY went from a 9 rating and a 24 share a year ago to an 11 rating and a 24 share in the most recent book. WDAY was down from a 15 rating and a 39 share to a 13 rating and a 30 share.

The 10 p.m. news was skewed in the most recent book because KVLY carried the 2014 Winter Olympics from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23, pushing the 10 p.m. newscast later into the night during that period.

The two stations were a virtual tie in the metro, both with a 13 rating and KVLY, anchored by Goetz and Morken, squeaking out a 32 share over the Mogck and Kealy-anchored 31 share on WDAY. It was a big shift for both stations; KVLY had a 10 rating and a 25 share last February compared to WDAY’s 17 rating and 42 share in the metro.

In the larger market, the two stations tied with a 13 rating and KVLY edged WDAY with a 29 share over WDAY+’s 28. Last February, WDAY + had a commanding lead with a 16 rating and a 40 share compared to KVLY’s 7 rating and 17 share.

Jim Wareham, KVLY’s president and general manager, declared on the company’s website that his news crew “dominates February local news ratings.” Wareham claimed victory in the demographics, particularly among women 25 to 54, a group important to advertisers.

“We’re still the most watched news no matter which way you cut it,” said WDAY News Director Jeff Nelson. “More people are watching WDAY than any other news in the Valley.”

Feb 2014

Market Area

5 p.m. - rating - share

——————————————————-

KVLY 9 25

WDAY+ 10 27

——————————————————

5:30 p.m.

KXJB 4 10

——————————————————

6 p.m.

KVLY 11 23

KVRR 1 2

WDAY+ 15 31

———————————————————-

9 p.m.

KVRR 6 11

——————————————————

10 p.m.

KVLY* 13 29

KXJB 5 10

WDAY+ 13 28

Metro

5 p.m. - rating - share

——————————————————-

KVLY 7 22

WDAY 10 33

——————————————————

5:30 p.m.

KXJB 3 9

——————————————————

6 p.m.

KVLY 11 24

KVRR 1 2

WDAY 13 30

———————————————————-

9 p.m.

KVRR 6 12

——————————————————

10 p.m.

KVLY* 13 32

KXJB 4 10

WDAY 13 31

* From Feb. 7 to 23 KVLY aired the 2014 Winter Olympics, pushing the 10 p.m. news back later in the night


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