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Weather forecasts may have been a snow job but drove local TV ratings

There was one weather prediction the last three days that paid off big time for the local television news departments: Weather scares predictably drive ratings.

As much as people want to complain that there is too much weather coverage, viewership rises when storms are predicted even if they never materialize.

From Monday through Wednesday, combined 6 p.m. news viewership of WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and WKBW-TV (Channel 7) was up by more than 13 percent from the recently concluded November sweeps.

Channel 2 was first with an 11.8 average rating, Channel 4 was close behind with an 11.5. Channel 7 averaged 4.8.

The ratings at 11 p.m. were pretty normal, possibly because by that time people knew the predicted big lake-effect storm in Buffalo and some nearby suburbs hadn't happened.

Lake-effect snow falling at 2 inches per hour


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