WBBM-TV’s news ratings continue to lag

Spent so much time on WFLD lately (Mike Barz’s firing and the station’s 10 p.m. newscast cancellation), now there’s a story of Chicago’s other ratings-losing news operation – CBS-owned WBBM-TV.

But while both news stations are still trying to find an audience, NBC-owned WMAQ-TV’s 10 p.m. newscast has seen a 13% increase in household ratings since January and is now only 1.7 rating points behind market leader WLS-TV, where as the ABC O&O is still having signal issues from the DTV switch last month.

WMAQ’s 10 p.m. ratings growth is notable given HUT levels tend to drop during the summer months, and its parent network is still struggling in prime-time and ratings for The Tonight Show with new host Conan O’Brien have dropped since he took over.

And among adults 25-54, the numbers are probably closer between the two stations.

Now back to WBBM… the station’s ratings still trail those of its’ two main rivals by a wide margin in households, though the outlet is now taking a different approach to presenting its newscasts, including leading off with a local story Wednesday night instead of President Obama’s press conference regarding his health-care plan. News director Jeff Kiernan (who arrived from sister station WBZ-TV in January) hopes the move to differentiate itself from its two main competitors pays off in increased ratings.

The station is sticking with anchor Rob Johnson solo – for now.