KABC-TV cruises to easy sweeps win

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November 30, 1992 by Stuart Miller

KABC-TV won the November sweeps in the L.A. market by the widest margin in recent memory, sweeping the early and late news contests for the first time in five years.

The ABC O&O was also performing solidly across-the-board with one day to go in the Nielsen period, where KABC had a 6.7 rating, 17 share sign-on to sign-off , a 10% boost over a year ago, while KNBC dropped by 14% to 5.1, and KCBS fell by 6% to 4.8.

In the Nielsens, KABC's news at 4 p.m. was up 6% over last November, its 5 p.m. news was up 10%, its 6 p.m. news was up 15% and its late news made the most significant gains, climbing 27% to an 8.1 to cruise past KNBC, which declined in each newscast despite the trumpeted arrival of anchor Paul Moyer.

KABC was up by a lesser amount in Arbitron, but in both cases, its early-news lead was given an edge by the growth of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" at 3 p.m. on KABC and the decline of "Donahue" on KNBC. KCBS, meanwhile, posted its third straight second-place finish at 6 p.m., with a 24% gain, and pulled within 0.2 of KNBC at 5 p.m. with its 12% hike.

KABC's news strength carried over into daytime, where its rookie 11:30 a.m. newscast earned a 3.8 rating, an improvement of 36% over the time period a year ago.

Among independent stations, Fox flagship KTTV and Tribune-owned KTLA dueled through a close race in both ratings services, with stiff competition in access and KTTV narrowing the Tribune station's historic lead in terms of 10 o'clock newscasts.

In Arbitron, KTLA lost 15% while KTTV gained 19% at 10 p.m., but in Nielsen, KTTV's 19% gain was partially offset by KTLA's 8% gain, as the station retained a lead of over two rating points.

Although Disney-owned KCAL-TV improved all three prime time newscasts in the Arbitron book, its 8 p.m. newscast was down 3% in Nielsen. However, its 9 p.m. news was up 36% to a 4.5/7 and its 10 p.m. newscast climbed 17% to a 2.7, putting it ahead of KCOP's news.

The arrival of "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" vaulted KABC into an easy first-place margin from 7-8 p.m., while KCBS -- which gave up the two King World shows in favor of "You Bet Your Life" and "Family Feud"-- ranked last among the market's seven VHF stations.

KTTV led independents in the prime-access hour while KTLA improved its 5-7 p.m. performance with the combination of "Saved by the Bell" and "Full House."

The Fox O&O's children's fare bested KCAL's "Disney Afternoon" from 3-5 p.m., though KCAL was up in each half-hour compared to November '91 while KTTV was flat until "Tiny Toons" and "Batman: The Animated Series" took over.