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KUTV-Channel 2 sweeps to big November victory

Published November 23, 2012 8:56 pm

Local TV ratings • In late news, it beats Channel 5 and Channel 13 combined.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

This week, KUTV staffers celebrated their latest ratings victories with balloons, a cake and a pep talk from general manager Kent Crawford. "I feel a little like Mr. Mac," Crawford said. "No one works as hard as we do."

The celebratory parties have become a recent fixture at KUTV. Two years ago, Channel 2 either eked out a win over longtime leader KSL-Channel 5 or finished in a dead heat, depending on how you looked at the numbers. Since then, for eight consecutive sweeps rating periods, Channel 2 has won every battle in the late-night news war.

In November 2010, it was unclear if the results were an anomaly. Today, the viewership switch from KSL to KUTV has become an ongoing trend, with ever-increasing margins of victory.

"It was a long time coming," said KUTV anchorman Mark Koelbel. "And we don't take it for granted. We face tough competitors."

In household ratings, KUTV smashed the competition. Channel 2 improved on its November 2011 numbers in the Monday-Friday late-news race, winning viewership by its widest margin ever over second-place KSL-Channel 5. (See box.)

KSL's numbers are the lowest for the station in decades, and they come as Channel 5 has spent several hundred thousand dollars on a new set as part of an effort to update the overall look of its newscasts.

Fox 13 had reason to be happy — its 9 p.m. newscast ratings rose year-to-year. ABC 4, which has struggled to get back into the competition, found success from 4-5 p.m., where it showed significant growth and led the time period. And its 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts were both up over November 2011.

"KTVX is building momentum in the 4-6:30 p.m. block and is looking forward to continuing that trend," said Matt Jaquint, the station's vice president and general manager.

KUTV's success wasn't confined to the late newscast. Channel 2 led in morning newscasts, with strong competition from Channel 13, although ratings were down across the board for all four local news stations.

KUTV also led at noon, 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and its revived Saturday- and Sunday-morning newscasts both edged out Channel 13.

Editor's note: The Salt Lake Tribune maintains a news-gathering partnership with KUTV-Channel 2, while TV writer Scott Pierce was until 2010 an employee of the Deseret News, a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, which owns KSL.

spierce@sltrib.com

Local TV ratings — November 2012

In the Monday-Friday late-news ratings, KUTV-Channel 2 averaged 118,000 homes to KSL-Channel 5's 63,000. KSTU-Channel 13 was third with 54,000; KTVX-Channel 4 averaged 40,000. —

By the ratings book

In household ratings (demographics will be released in several weeks), KUTV-Channel 2 improved its November 2011 numbers in the Monday-Friday late-news numbers and won by its widest margin over second-place KSL-Channel 5.

Channel 2 averaged a 12.7 rating and 23 share to Channel 5's 6.8/12, KSTU-Channel 13's 5.9/10 and KTVX-Channel 4's 4.3/8.

Averaging in Saturdays and Sundays changes those numbers, but only slightly —Channel 2, 12.1/22; Channel 5, 6.9/13; Channel 13, 5.4/10; and Channel 4, 4.0/7.