WGN declares victory on election night

WGN (April 2, 2019)

Maybe it was fitting that the station calling itself “Chicago’s Very Own” was also the first TV news outlet to call the election of Chicago’s new mayor.

Forty-five minutes after polls closed Tuesday, Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 declared Lori Lightfoot the winner. (Here is the link.) The Associated Press called the race for Lightfoot in a bulletin at 7:45 p.m.

WGN’s marathon coverage, anchored by Joe Donlon and Micah Materre, began with its early evening newscast and ran well into the night. From 7 to 9 p.m. the station ranked No. 1 among adults between 25 and 54 — the key demographic for advertisers — according to overnight Nielsen ratings.

By the 9 p.m. hour, which included Lightfoot’s historic victory speech, WGN led among all viewers with a 6.7 rating (217,837 households).

ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, anchored by Alan Krashesky and Cheryl Burton, took the lead in households and adult demos at 10 p.m.

Combined viewership among Chicago’s commercial stations at 10 p.m. topped 604,700 households.