With a snowbound, captive audience, it isn’t surprising that the ratings for local news coverage of Tuesday’s storm went through the roof.
If you combine all three early evening newscasts, the rating was equal to or exceeded what a Buffalo Bills game normally receives.
The 6 a.m. morning ratings were much higher than the stations often get for most prime time network entertainment programs.
The clear winner for the day starting at 5 a.m. and continuing everywhere but 11 p.m. was Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate.
As it has done recently, Channel 2’s “Daybreak” co-anchored by John Beard and Melissa Holmes dominated in the early morning over Channel 4’s second place “Wake Up” with Teresa Weakley and Jordan Williams. Weakley, by the way, had a long day. She also co-anchored in the early evening.
Channel 7’s new weather-centric morning newscast featuring meteorologists Andy Parker and Autumn Lewandowski was third as usual. But its rating at 6 a.m. is about what first-place Channel 2 normally averages at that hour. Here are the morning results.
5 a.m.: Channel 2 (6.7), Channel 4 (4.9), Channel 7 (2.7).
6 a.m. Channel 2 (12.8), Channel 4 (8.6), Channel 7 (6.2).
The 5 a.m. numbers for all three stations were about twice as high as they have averaged during the first two weeks of the November sweeps.
At 6 a.m., Channel 2 doubled its national average, Channel 4 was a little more than a point from doubling its average and Channel 7 almost tripled its average.
Channel 2 continued to have double-digit ratings for most of the afternoon for its live coverage even before its first regular scheduled newscast at 5 p.m.
That newscast had a 20.2 rating, which was higher than Channel 4 (10.7) and Channel 7 (7.0) had combined. The three newscasts had a combined rating 37.9, which is in the ballpark of what several Bills games have had this season. The 37.9 is about double what the combined rating is normally for 5 p.m. newscasts normally.
Here are more results for those who don’t mind too many numbers:
5:30 p.m.: Channel 2 (19.5), Channel 4 (13.0), Channel 7 (7.2) for a combined 39.7 rating. That's about double the normal combined average.
6 p.m.: Channel 2 (17.5), Channel 4 (15.3), Channel 7 (10.9) for combined 43.7, which is higher than any Bills game this season. The combined average rating normally is around 25.
11 p.m.: Channel 4 (12.9), Channel 2 (10.4), Channel 7 (4.2) for a combined 27.5 rating. The combined rating for the 11 p.m. newscast normally is about a 20.
Channel 2’s dominance was so strong that its 10 p.m. news on Fox affiliate WUTV defeated Channel 4’s 10 p.m. news on sister station WNLO-TV, 4.9-4.5. Channel 4 has won that time period for years.