Univision Chicago has winning story with historic ratings sweep

Erika Maldonado and Enrique Rodríguez (Photo: Univision Chicago)

Friday's post here reported on the latest ratings for Chicago's five English-language newscasts at 9 and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, focusing on an unusual three-way tie for supremacy in a key audience measurement.

But there's a bigger story to emerge from Nielsen's May sweep when you include late-news ratings for the city's two Spanish-language stations — Univision Chicago WGBO-Channel 66 and Telemundo Chicago WSNS-Channel 44. For starters, they were the only stations in the market to increase their overall viewership year-to-year.

Here are total household ratings for late newscasts in May 2021, followed by number of viewers and percent of increase or decrease in rating from May 2020:

ABC 7 (10 p.m.) 5.6 rating; 176,389 viewers; 20 percent decrease
NBC 5 (10 p.m.) 4.6 rating; 145,672 viewers; 6.1 percent decrease
CBS 2 (10 p.m.) 2.5 rating; 79,329 viewers; 32.4 percent decrease
WGN 9 (10 p.m.) 2.5 rating; 78,089 viewers; 13.8 percent decrease
Univision 66 (10 p.m.) 2.0 rating; 62,711 viewers; 5.3 percent increase
Telemundo 44 (10 p.m.) 0.8 rating; 26,215 viewers; 60 percent increase
WGN 9 (9 p.m.) 4.2 rating; 131,837 viewers; 8.7 percent decrease
Fox 32 (9 p.m.) 1.6 rating; 49,466 viewers; 15.8 percent decrease

Among viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 — the metric that matters most to advertisers — the real late-news winner turned out to be Univision Chicago. While its segment of the adult demographic declined year-to-year (as did most others), Univision Chicago topped all its competitors in the 25-to-54 demo for both its 5 and 10 p.m. weekday newscasts.

Teri Arvesu, vice president of content for Univision Chicago, noted it was the first time Spanish-language newscasts at 5 and 10 p.m. in Chicago won the key adult demo. "More importantly, happy the audience likes what we have to offer and trusts our team to deliver credible and useful information," she said.

Here are the 25-to-54 ratings for late newscasts in May 2021, followed by number of viewers in the demo and percent of increase or decrease in rating from May 2020:

Univision 66 (10 p.m.) 1.6 rating; 49,379 viewers; 17 percent decrease
NBC 5 (10 p.m.) 1.4 rating; 44,182 viewers; 35 percent decrease
ABC 7 (10 p.m.) 1.4 rating; 43,998 viewers; 46 percent decrease
WGN 9 (10 p.m.) 1.0 rating; 30,780 viewers; 37 percent decrease
Telemundo 44 (10 p.m.) 0.7 rating; 20,623 viewers; 40 percent increase
CBS 2 (10 p.m.) 0.4 rating; 14,066 viewers; 46 percent decrease
WGN 9 (9 p.m.) 1.4 rating; 44,201 viewers; 37 percent decrease
Fox 32 (9 p.m.) 0.8 rating; 24,570 viewers; 20 percent decrease

Doug Levy

Doug Levy, president and general manager of Univision Chicago, took his English-language counterparts to task for omitting Spanish stations from the information they disseminated last week on the ratings.

"Don’t believe the BS coming from the other stations," Levy wrote on Facebook Friday. "Univision beat them all and they are all pretending like they won the sweep. False reporting. Fake news. Shame on them all."

Friday's comment of the day: Steve Roess: In thinking about the state of Chicago journalism, I was struck by my very different reactions to the declines of the print and broadcast versions. I’ve had an overwhelming sense of sadness about the demise of the once great Chicago Tribune. On the other hand, I just can’t help feeling a little bit of glee at seeing the vacuous 10 p.m. news broadcasts reap the rewards they so richly deserve.