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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

WKRC-TV Wins May Sweeps News Ratings

Courtesy WKRC-TV
WKRC-TV anchors Kyle Inskeep and Paula Toti won the May sweeps news ratings.

WKRC-TV's new Kyle Inskeep-Paula Toti anchor teamwon the May sweeps' household ratings, according to the overnight Nielsen meters.

Inskeep and Toti were named permanent anchors in March, after winning the February household ratings. They replaced Rob Braun and Cammy Dierking, who left Chanel 12 when their contracts expired last year.

Credit Courtesy Cammy Dierking
Rob Braun left WKRC-TV last June, and Cammy Dierking left in December.

Before Braun left last June, WLWT-TV's Sheree Paolello and Mark Dardis won the 11 p.m.household ratings for the first time in years.

Braun had won the 11 p.m. news ratings with Dierking, and before that Kit Andrews, for more than a decade and possibly two decades. Channel 5 also broke Channel 12's streak of winning all weekday newscasts.

But this May, Channel 12 again won all weekday newscasts, as it did in February. A tiny uptick on Wednesday pushed WKRC-TV past WXIX-TV (2.3 to 2.2) in the 6-7 a.m. household ratings. WXIX-TV also was second in the 4-5 p.m. news to Channel 12. WCPO-TV was third in news 4-6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., according to Nielsen.

Stations have used the household ratings for bragging rights, but they don't translate into much revenue.  WKRC-TV for years promoted that it’s the "most watched" station for news – but advertisers demand demographic groups, not the number of total viewers, which skew much older. Demographics will be available about the middle of June.

mike dewine andy beshear
Credit AP
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, left, and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, right, have broadcast regular updates since March.

The Nielsen numbers also showed that our local TV news appetite during the coronavirus pandemic have returned to normal levels, after spiking in April. Household ratings were up 12% for the 11 p.m. news in April over May, and up 6% at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. over May. However, the stations couldn't cash in on the ratings boost since many businesses were closed and didn't buy advertising, resulting in steep revenue declines.

Interest in daily COVID-19 updates have waned, too. Ratings for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's 2 p.m. press conference were 25% higher in April than May, and the 5 p.m. ratings for Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (nd local newscasts) were  21% higher in April than May. The big ratings for the governors actually resulted in a revenue loss for the stations, which aired their press conferences live without commercial interruption.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.