‘Eyewitness News’ better late, as ever

ABC 7 openMaybe it was the return of its branding as “Eyewitness News” after a 17-year lapse. Maybe it was the spiffy new opening and graphics package. Or maybe it simply was the 15 percent boost in its lead-in ratings at 9:45 p.m. (Yeah, that’s probably it.)

For whatever reason, ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 showed the biggest late-news growth in November, widening its lead in total viewership at 10 p.m. over NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2.

Though it’s still a much tighter race between ABC 7 and NBC 5 for viewers in the 25-to-54 demo coveted by advertisers, the rechristened “Eyewitness News” team continues to dominate the market as it has for more than a generation.

Ongoing upheaval at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 coincided with a 36 percent decline for the station’s 9 p.m. newscast, now fronted by two new anchors. Ratings for Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9’s news at 9 p.m. were unchanged from last year.

Here is a gallery of Chicago’s late-news anchor teams, followed by their Nielsen ratings and shares for November 2013:

(One ratings point represents 34,848 households and share is the percent of sets in use.)