Late night news ratings drop in Washington

The Washington Post is reporting that late-news ratings at 11p.m. for the four network affiliates in the Washington, D.C. market have plummeted more than ten percent compared to last year’s ratings.

One station, Allbritton’s ABC affiliate WJLA, fell 35 percent at 11p.m. in November, compared to November 2005, despite ABC No. 1 ranking in prime-time. NBC-owned WRC-TV, the market leader, was down 11 percent. Gannett’s CBS affiliate WUSA and Fox-owned WTTG (which also has a 10pm newscast) were also down.

Hats off to WDCW-Channel 50, the Tribune-owned CW affiliate, which found success with syndicated shows such as The People’s Court, Maury, Judge Mathis, and The Bernie Mac Show, and CW’s prime-time lineup, which easily defeated that of crosstown rival WDCA-TV, which featured MyNetworkTV programming. WDCW has come a long way from the days of WBDC and WFTY (its predecessors that occupied channel 50 back in the day), the latter often airing eighteenth-rate programming and practically had NO ratings (literally– hash marks.)