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.
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.
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.
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