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WXIX-TV Wins Local TV News Demographics In May Sweeps

Courtesy WXIX-TV
WXIX-TV main anchors (from left): Joe Danneman, Rob Williams, Tricia Macke and Steve Horstmeyer.

May sweeps ratings, Part Two: The demographics are in for May, and WXIX-TV is the big winner.

The Fox affiliate was the most-watched Cincinnati station for news – in the morning, and at 5, 10 and 11 p.m. – for viewers ages 25 to 54, the demographic advertisers target.  (CBS affiliate WKRC-TV won all newscasts in the Nielsen household ratings for May,but stations sell advertising time based on demographics, not the household numbers.)

"We’re excited to say it’s a great book for us," says Debbie Bush, Channel 19 vice president and general manager.

For the first time in Cincinnati, a TV station had "the number one newscast with adults 25-54 at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.," she says.

Her station was first in the "money demo" for:

6-10 a.m.: Channel 19's local newscast was tops 6-7 a.m. against morning shows on WLWT-TV, WCPO-TV and WKRC-TV. The station also won 7-9 a.m. against the network morning shows, and at 9 a.m. when Good Morning Cincinnati resumed on Channel 12. (Channel 12 won the 9 a.m. May household ratings.)

Fox 19 Now at 7 a.m. has been No. 1 in the demo since January 2017, she says.

5 p.m.: Channel 19's 5 p.m. news, launched in January, tied with Channel 12 for first in the demo. They were just a hair over local news on Channels 5 and 9. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's daily 5 p.m. coronavirus update was not a factor, Bush says, because by May most Cincinnati stations were broadcasting only a part of his briefing.

10 p.m.: Winning this time period wasn't a surprise because Channel 19 was the city's first 10 p.m. newscast in 1993.

11 p.m.: Channel 19's 11 p.m. newscast, which marks its two-year anniversary in August, won at 11 p.m. by one-tenth of a point. A year ago, Channel 5 won the May demo.

But it was not all good news. Channel 19's 6-7 p.m. news finished fifth in the demo. It had fewer viewers than the long-established newscasts on Channels 5, 9 and 12, plus Steve Harvey's Family Feud on Channel 64. (Channels 5 and 9 tied for first at 6 p.m., followed by Channel 12, which won the May household ratings. Channel 9's ABC news won at 6:30, followed by NBC, CBS and Family Feud.)

"I’m so proud of the results our Fox 19 Now team achieved in May. The challenges brought on by the new reality of COVID-19, and how our staff overcame those challenges, only reinforces my admiration for their commitment to keeping Tri-State viewers informed and safe," Bush says.

News director Steve Hyvonen credits the success to "a great news team that really connects with the community. ... Viewers continue to turn to Fox 19 Now for big news and big weather coverage."

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.