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May sweeps show more good news for Channel 4 than rivals

The classy goodbye by WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) co-anchor Scott Levin Wednesday might not have been the only reason for staffers to cry at the end of the May sweeps.

There is more good news in the May sweeps for WIVB-TV (Channel 4) than for Channel 2.

During the 20-day rating period, Channel 2 lost its recent dominance in the 5 p.m. through 6:30 p.m. news block in household ratings to WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and barely held on to its morning victory.

However, don't cry too much for Channel 2. Household ratings aren't as important to advertisers as demographics.

And with only the final day of demographics yet to be counted and unlikely to change things, Channel 2 remained No. 1 in the key age 25-54 demographic for local stations in all time periods. But even then, Channel 4 has cut the margin of Channel 2's victory in that demo significantly from a year ago at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Third-place WKBW-TV (Channel 7) doesn't have much to cheer despite a news product that has significantly improved. One noticeable bright spot is at noon, when the newscast anchored by Keith Radford has significantly cut the size of Channel 4's household and demographic victories. Channel 7 also had a slight increase at 6 a.m.

Keith Radford plans to stay at WKBW an extra year

At 6 a.m., Channel 2's "Daybreak" defeated Channel 4's "Wake Up!" in households by .05 of a ratings point. A year ago, Channel 2 won the time period by more than a full rating point.

At 5 p.m., Channel 2 won by a closer margin in households than a year ago but has a wider edge in the 25-54 demo than a year ago.

At 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., Channel 4 reversed the situation from a year ago and won both time periods in households. However, Channel 2 increased its margin of victory in the 25-54 demo at 5:30 p.m., when sports director Adam Benigni was a co-anchor.

From 5 p.m. through 6:30 p.m., Channel 4 has a total of 23.8 household ratings points. Channel 2 has 23.6 ratings points. Channel 7 has 9.0 ratings points. In the age-25-54 demo, Channel 2 wins over Channel 4, 7.9-6.7. Channel 7 has 2.7 points.

Channel 4 also wins at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. in household ratings, though Channel 2 wins by a wider margin in the 25-54 demo than a year ago.

Channel 4 would prefer to accentuate the age 35-64 demographic to advertisers on the belief people in that demographic have more spending money at age 35 and after age 54 then they do at age 25 and before age 54. Not surprisingly, Channel 4 wins in the older 35-64 demo in every time slot.

However, advertisers may not buy what Channel 4 is selling. Advertisers generally believe consumers make their product choices at a younger age and that older consumers pretty much have already decided what they prefer.

Levin touched all the bases in his goodbye at the end of the 6 p.m. newscast Wednesday. He thanked his family, co-workers and the community.

The goodbye also led to a 6 p.m. win for Channel 2 on the final day of the sweeps. Viewership increased by a full point at 6:15 p.m. to give Channel 2 a first-place 8.6 household rating for the half hour.

Channel 4 lost a full point in that final 15 minutes and had a 7.7 rating for the half hour. Channel 7 rose slightly to a 3.5 rating at 6:15 p.m.

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