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May "sweeps" ratings for local TV: Fox's WTVT-Ch. 13 dominates, ABC affiliate WFTS-Ch. 28 wins 11 p.m.

fox13logo.jpgLocal TV ratings are like glaciers: Slow to change and tough to understand.

But now that May's "sweeps" ratings period has ended, there's a few trends which stick out looking over the key ratings among viewers aged 25 to 54 -- the target demographic for most area TV stations.

WTVT-Ch. 13 still dominates most newscast time periods in that viewer segment. But Tampa's Fox affiliate is dominating a smaller field, as the total number of households and people watching television newscasts have dropped, often by double-digit percentages, from the year before. And at 5 p.m., for example, WTVT's ratings are down by 16 percent from the year before (though they did see year-ago gains at 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.) But rival WFLA-Ch. 8's ratings among those viewers dipped 35 percent at 5 wftsinhd.jpgp.m., 37 percent at 5:30 p.m. and 30 percent at 6 p.m.

Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS-Ch. 28 saw serious success at 11 p.m. among these target viewers, jumping 23 percent to the top late night newscast. The station, also known s ABC Action News, has come on strong, developing a well-branded investigative team and crackling morning show over the last few years. But WFTS' numbers were undoubtedly helped by the success of Dancing with the Stars this year, which has seen its strongest season yet.

Once the 800-pound gorilla of the local TV scene, WFLA now places behind WTVT and local cable newschannel Bay News 9 in mornings, and third at 11 p.m. behind WFTS and WTVT (which already has an hourlong, 10 p.m. newscast). WFLA should savor the strong ratings which came from Oprah Winfrey's protracted farewell at 4 p.m.; replacement Dr. Oz will likely get hammered by WFTS' Ellen, unless host Mehmet Oz drastically amps up the show before next season.

And cable newschannel Bay News 9 has seen its ratings improve from year-ago levels in just about every major newscast time period.

Look below for the numbers in detail:

5 a.m. to 6 a.m. newscasts:
WTVT-Ch. 13 (Fox 13)                                        1.0  
BN9    (Bay News 9)                         0.7
WTSP-Ch. 10 (!0 News)                      0.6
WFLA-Ch. 8 (Newschannel 8)             0.5
WFTS-Ch. 28 (ABC Action News)        0.5

6 a.m. to 7 a.m. newscasts:
WTVT-Ch. 13 (Fox 13)                                 2.1  
Bay News 9                                    1.2
WFLA-Ch. 8                                    1.1
WFTS-Ch. 28                                  0.8
WTSP-Ch. 10                                   0.7


7 a.m. to 9 a.m.:
Good Day Tampa Bay (Fox 13)                  2.2  
Today show  (Newschannel 8)       1.7
Bay News 9                                   1.2
Good Morning America (ABC)         0.8
Early Show  (10 News)                  0.7


oprahfansintampa.jpg4 p.m. to 5 p.m.:
Oprah (Newschannel 8)                1.8   
Judge Judy (Fox)                  1.1
Ellen           (ABC)                 1.0
BN9                                       0.6
Millionaire/Inside Edition (CBS)   0.1 


5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. newscasts:
WTVT                        1.5
WFLA                 1.1
WFTS                 0.8
BN9                    0.8

WTSP                 0.2


5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. newscasts:
ai_01-judges_0092f.jpgWTVT                    1.7
WFLA              1.0
BN9                0.9

WFTS              0.7

WTSP              0.2

6 p.m. newscasts:
WTVT            2.1

WFLA        1.4

BN9           1.0
WFTS         0.8

WTSP        0.2

Prime Time, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday, 7-11 p.m. Sunday:
WTVT    (FOX)      3.9  
WTSP  (CBS)    3.0
WFTS  (ABC)    2.6

WFLA  (NBC)    1.8
WTOG (CW)     0.5

11 p.m. newscasts:

WFTS                  2.1
WTSP           1.6

WTVT            1.5

WFLA            1.4

BN9               0.7

[Last modified: Friday, May 27, 2011 5:04pm]


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