Believe it or not, there are places where NBC affiliates actually won late news despite having The Jay Leno Show as its lead-in.
What’s notable is these two NBC affiliates – WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. and WDIV in Detroit, rose in the ratings ranks as recently as ten years ago, when NBC was enjoying ratings dominance – surpassing former market leaders WUSA-TV (CBS) and WXYZ-TV (ABC), respectively.
– In Washington, D.C. NBC-owned WRC won the 11 p.m. news race despite having Leno as a lead-in, with the rating increasing dramatically when his talk show ended for the evening. WRC also dominated other news time slots as well.
Despite several controversial reports on breast cancer – which featured women giving themseleves exams with the breast obscured – and hometown favorite Mya competing in the finals of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, WJLA-TV could only muster up a second-place finish behind WRC at 11 p.m. The station also finished second in other dayparts as well.
Fox’s WTTG finished third at 5 and 6 p.m., and its 10 p.m. newscast finished ahead of 11 p.m. news programs on WJLA and WUSA. Twenty years ago, WUSA was the market’s most dominant station.
-In Detroit, WDIV finished first at 11 p.m, despite Leno as its’ lead-in, beating WXYZ even with a stronger prime-time lineup. Even better for WDIV, its late newscast topped all other NBC affiliates late news in households in the top 20 markets and was up 12 percent from last year.
WDIV also dominated newscasts at 5 and 6 p.m., and its syndicated programming lineup of Ellen, Dr. Oz, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! all won their time periods in households and key demos.
Meanwhile, Fox-owned WJBK-TV won mornings with its newscasts ranking first in households from 4:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Also, NBC affiliate KSL-TV in Salt Lake City stayed on top of the 10 p.m. news race in that market even with Leno as a lead-in. Bonneville-owned KSL is an institution in Salt Lake City, which has finished on top for decades – whether it was affiliated with CBS (which it was until 1995) or NBC.