Chicago’s arctic January warmed the hearts of local TV bosses, as ratings rose for morning newscasts at every station in town.
Between 4 and 10 a.m. weekdays, viewership for the month was up across the board compared with January 2013. Ratings analysts attributed the boost mainly to weather-related coverage, including interest in school closings and commuting issues.
First-place bragging rights were split between ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, anchored by Hosea Sanders and Judy Hsu, and Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9, anchored by Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten.
In overall households the two stations had identical 3.3 ratings during the 6 a.m. hour, with ABC 7 up 10 percent and WGN up 37.5 percent. Among viewers between 25 and 54, WGN was the big winner at that hour with a 2.4 rating (up 50 percent), compared with ABC 7’s 1.6 rating (up 14.3 percent). One Nielsen rating point equals 35,340 households.
ABC 7 won in overall households in all other morning hours, while WGN dominated the 25-to-54 demo in every hour from 6 to 10 a.m. NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 generally finished third, beating ABC 7 only in the 6 a.m. hour among 25-to-54 viewers.
January even brought a ray of sunshine to the market’s two distant also-rans, CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32. Both posted increases compared with the same period last year.
February sweeps start today and run through Feb. 26.