The latest television ratings are out and both significant competitors in the Anchorage television news war are crowing.
KTUU has long dominated the TV news market in Anchorage and the latest NIelsen ratings show that is still the case. The local NBC affiliate holds leads of 38 share points (A share point represents 1% of the people watching TV at any given time) in the morning, 33 points at 5PM, 25 points at 6PM, and 32 points at 10PM. The same dynamic is true on the weekends with the exception of Sundays at 10PM where KTUU’s lead has shrunk all the way to 15 points. Overall, that means KTUU is still the 800 pound gorilla of television news in Alaska and there isn’t really a close second.
KTVA on the other hand has plenty to feel good about. Compared with last year’s November ratings they saw increases in almost all areas while KTUU saw ratings erosion on weekdays in the morning, at 6PM, and 10PM. That is significant, especially on weekday mornings where KTVA’s Daybreak went from a 0 in the ratings to a 6 share and cut KTUU’s lead from a staggering 51 to 38 share points. That may still sound like a big lead, and it is, but KTVA started out with huge ratings hill to climb. These numbers show they have begun to do that.
At the beginning of the year, KTUU’s morning show will be adding on-camera talent MJ Thim, who they poached from KTVA where he served as an assignment editor and previously as anchor. Thim has an uber positive disposition, seemingly tailor made for morning TV, and to quote some female sources “He’s pretty.” It will be interesting to see if his addition to KTUU’s Morning Edition reverses the ratings decline there.
The real bright spot for KTVA is Sunday nights at 10PM where they more than doubled their ratings from a 6 share to a 14. That compares with a 29 share for KTUU. This is the one broadcast where KTVA is already moving towards parity with KTUU.
I’m tempted to ask if readers are interested in the ratings for Anchorage’s other news stations KYUR and KTBY, but judging by the ratings, you aren’t. There are a whole lot of zeros in the ratings for both.
The major takeaway here is KTUU is still the big dog in Anchorage television news and while KTVA is moving in the right direction, even if their current movement continues they are still at least a year or two from achieving any sense of parity with KTUU.
In an emailed response for this story KTUU’s General Manager Andy Macleod bragged of his station’s “Outstanding news performance in the Nov. Nielsen ratings. There were 124 rating points in the market for adults 25-54, our key news target audience, and Channel 2 News captured 89 percent.”
KTVA’s News Director Burt Rudman was similarly glowing of his station writing “KTVA’s audience is growing while KTUU at 6a, 6p and 10p is declining. Our trend lines are strong as more and more viewers are inviting us into their homes.”
So who is right? In the truest Obi-Wan Kenobian sense “It depends on your point of view.”