The latest battle in the local TV late-news ratings wars ended with familiar results. In the November 2013 sweeps, KUTV-Channel 2 finished first, followed by KSL-Channel 5, KSTU-Channel 13 and KTVX-Channel 4, continuing a three-year trend.
Here's how the four stations stacked up in the Monday-Friday late-news ratings:
1. KUTV-Ch. 2: 9.7 rating/21 share
2. KSL-Ch. 5: 7.0 rating/15 share
3.KSTU-Ch. 13: 4.4 ratings/9 share
4.KTVX-Ch. 4: 2.9 rating/6 share
(A ratings point represent 1 percent of the 917,370 homes Nielsen estimates are in the Salt Lake television market; a share point represents 1 percent of the homes where someone is actually watching TV at a given time.)
There were, however, a couple of significant developments that were outside what has become the norm in the Salt Lake television market.
First, the overall late-news audience dropped significantly from November 2012. The total household ratings audience for the four stations combined was down 20 percent.
And, second, KSL reversed its slide in the ratings and ticked up a bit the only local station to show an increase.
"This rating period showed great growth for KSL," Tanya Vea, executive vice president of KSL News, said in a statement.
Well, growth, at any rate. KSL was up 0.2 rating points at 10 p.m., a 3 percent rise.
But that minimal increase looks especially good when all three competitors were down significantly year-to-year. Channel 2 was off 3.0 rating points (24 percent); Channel 13 dropped 1.5 points (25 percent); and Channel 4 declined 1.4 points (33 percent).
According to Nielsen's numbers, about 54,000 fewer homes were watching late news in the Salt Lake market in November 2013 than tuned in in November 2012.
What happened? Good weather tends to deflate TV ratings, and Utah experienced very good weather in November. There's also some question about Nielsen's sampling of the 35-54 age group.
"Some of the loss is due to streaming-device usage, and video recording as well which is up in our market," said KUTV general manager Kent Crawford. "We need to insure Nielsen recaptures and measures these viewers."
Among the viewers Nielsen did record, Channel 2 won across the board. KUTV was first in early-morning news; midday news; and at 4:30, 5 and 6 p.m. Channel 2 tied Channel 4 for first at 4 p.m.
Its lifestyle show, "Fresh Living" (a 2.0 rating) topped KSL's "Studio 5" (1.2) and KTVX's "Good Things Utah" (1.3).
KUTV also won the weekend late-news battles. The seven day average for the late newscasts was: Channel 2 9.4; Channel 5 6.8; Channel 13 4.1; and Channel 4 2.6.
The numbers are household only. The demographic information, which station use to sell advertising, won't be available for several weeks.
Editor's note: The Salt Lake Tribune maintains a news-gathering partnership with KUTV-Channel 2.
Local TV ratings November 2013
In the Monday-Friday late-news ratings, KUTV-Channel 2 averaged approximately 89,000 homes to KSL-Channel 5's 62,400. KSTU-Channel 13 was third with 37,600; KTVX-Channel 4 averaged 23,900.