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    Default Longtime Denver TV news leader loses views, and more February sweeps ratings

    From The Denver Post:

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    Denver’s KUSA-Channel 9, the market Goliath known as 9News, remains No.1 in the ratings, dominant “sunrise to sundown, all day, every day,” as the station likes to say. However, the February 2017 ratings sweep shows the kingpin suffered double-digit audience declines in certain newscasts compared to a year earlier.

    At 6 p.m., KUSA’s cheeky “Next with Kyle Clark” is down 31 percent compared to the conventional newscast in that slot last February. The time slot performance declined from a 2.87 to a 1.98 rating among adults 25-54, the industry’s accepted TV news demographic.

    From 5-5:30 p.m., 9News was down 29 percent (from 2.91 to 2.08). At the same time, KDVR-Channel 31 scored a 35 percent increase and KCNC-Channel 4 was up 17 percent.

    At 4 p.m., 9News was down 22 percent; at noon the station was down 24 percent.

    “We were in (political) primary season last year, that was probably driving a lot of numbers at that time,” said President and General Manager of KUSA/KTVD Steve Carter. “We’ve had several rating periods like this, it’s nothing we’re concerned about.”

    As far as the nontraditional “Next,” Carter said, “we didn’t launch it without thinking we were going to disrupt the audience. We needed to do something different. We look at it in terms of where we’re going in the future.” Carter said focus group research reported two-thirds of the “Next” audience, almost 75 percent, is newcomers. “To me that’s a better measure of that show. These are people coming back to TV news because we drove them away, in essence.” The viewers are not necessarily younger, but “a wide range of demos.” The show will continue to evolve, he said. “It’s good to be innovating from a leadership position,” noting legacy stations are often reluctant to change.

    Noteworthy in the late news race, KDVR-Channel 31 beat KMGH-Channel 7 at 10 p.m. The 10 p.m. numbers look like this:

    KUSA is No. 1 with a 2.88 rating, 10.1 share (down 4 percent from last February), followed by No. 2 KCNC with a 1.39 rating, 4.9 share (down 12 percent), KDVR with a 1.0 rating, 3.5 share (up 41 percent), and KMGH trails with a 0.9 rating, 3.2 share (up 7 percent).

    Meanwhile Fox’s KDVR-Channel 31 had an upward-trending February, boosting its late-news audience by double digits at 9, 9:30 and 10 p.m.

    Nationally, February 2017 was a good month for Stephen Colbert on CBS (his first ever sweep win). In Denver, the less politically pointed Jimmy Fallon on NBC led the late-night comedy pack.

    Scott Pelley (earning raves for his just-the-facts “CBS Evening News” style in the Trump era) was up 46 percent on Channel 4. Lester Holt on “NBC Nightly News,” still the leader nationally and locally, was down 20 percent on Channel 9.

    The Denver market, 17th largest in the country, encompasses 1,637,380 homes. When measuring adults 25-54, the standard TV news audience, 1 rating point equals 16,416 viewers. A rating point represents 1 percent of the total number of households with televisions; share is the percentage of TV sets in use at a particular time.

    Although TV ratings are measured daily, the four traditional sweeps periods — February, May, July and November — remain useful summaries of local station performance, used to set advertising rates.

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