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Return to cable puts Ch. 4 news back on top

For at least one night, all appears to be forgiven by loyal Channel 4 viewers.

Several hours after its owner, LIN TV, and Time Warner Cable ended the dispute that kept the channel out of about 50 percent of homes for 26 days, Channel 4 was back as No. 1 in the news ratings Wednesday at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. by a substantial margin. It had slipped to third place during the stalemate.

Channel 2 returned to second place at 6 and 11 p.m, Channel 7 second at 5 p.m. and a close third at 6 p.m.

Of course, Channel 4's ratings may have benefited slightly from a curiosity factor. Viewers may have wanted initially to hear what anchors Don Postles and Jacquie Walker had to say about the end of the stalemate.

The 11 p.m. news also benefited from the lead-in from "CSI: NY," which averaged a 13.3 rating after "Criminal Minds," which hit an even stronger 16.5.

Still, the ratings are a very good sign for News 4 the night before the November sweeps began.

On another ratings note, Barack Obama was a TV hit here.

The infomercial Wednesday night featuring the Democratic presidential nominee had ratings on Channel 4 (9.7) and Channel 2 (6.5) that the stations would have been happy to get from prime time network shows. Channel 29 (3.7) also had a rating that would have been in the ballpark of Fox's pregame World Series show, which was pre-empted to carry Sen. Obama's show. ABC's "Pushing Daisies," which the network carried opposite the infomercial, finished third in the time slot with a 5.0 rating on Channel 7.

The collective 19.9 rating on the three broadcast affiliates carrying the Obama show means 19.9 percent of area homes were tuned in to the infomercial on those channels.

And that doesn't count the viewership on the cable channels that also carried it. Those local figures weren't immediately available.

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