The Ten’s ratings problem exposing problems at another station

WFLD-TV’s new 10 p.m. newscast called The Ten is clearly struggling in the ratings – but the program is skewing younger, and is exposing problems at crosstown rival WBBM-TV with their 10 p.m. newscast.

According to an article in the Sun-Times today, The Fox-owned station’s newscast has surprisingly beat the CBS-owned station’s late newscast in the household ratings on some nights since the newscast debuted on April 9. In the newscast’s target demo of adults 18-49, ratings are even with WBBM.

However, in the most important demo for news, adults 25-54, WFLD’s newscast has not done well. It is behind the rest of its competition. That could hurt the station’s billing at 10p.m., since stations’ earn more revenue in the 25-54 demo in news than 18-49. The newscast is earning less than half of what reruns of The Simpsons previously earned in the time period

Also, WFLD’s newscast has finished behind reruns of Sex in the City on WGN-TV and The King of Queens on WCIU-TV, and WGBO-TV’s Spanish language newscast in households at 10 p.m.

Yes, even Bart is watching The King of Queens.

WBBM meanwhile, is down 30 percent in households from a year ago. This comes despite CBS’ successful prime time schedule and the Bears’ Super Bowl appearance in February (CBS carried the game.)

ABC-owned WLS-TV, meanwhile, continues its 10 p.m. news dominance, thanks in part to hot ABC shows like Dancing With the Stars (which outdrew American Idol locally on Tuesday Night) and Grey’s Anatomy.

WMAQ-TV is second at 10 p.m., and should be grateful, given NBC’s prime time struggles.

Here is a ratings chart on how the 10 p.m. races are shaping up. All are household numbers. Each ratings point equals 34,308 households and share are percentage of TV sets in use.

WLS (ABC) News 10.2/18
WMAQ (NBC) News 6.9/12
WBBM (CBS) News 4.0/7

WGN (CW) Sex in the City 3.4/6
WCIU (Ind.) The King of Queens 2.6/5
WGBO (Uni) News 2.1/5
WFLD (Fox) News 1.9/3

Sources: Nielsen Media Research, Robert Feder, Chicago Sun-Times

Station officials don’t want to admit it, but WBBM’s pairing of Antonio Mora and Diann Burns is a total bust. Only time will tell if this pairing will continue. Given that ratings for CBS’ other local newscasts in New York (WCBS) and Los Angeles (KCBS) are improving, there are no excuses for WBBM’s newscasts in Chicago at 10 p.m. to continue to perform poorly like this.

As for The Ten, it has a long way to go to catch up to the established leaders – or should I say “leader”, but Roger Ailes has a long leash – and is willing to stick it out.

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