Leno doesn’t knock KARE11 from 10 p.m. news lead but …

Two months ago, I wondered in these virtual pages if KARE11 would remain the 10 p.m. ratings leader, at least among the ad-important 25-to-54-year-old demographic, since NBC’s Jay Leno provides a weaker weeknight lead-in. 

A few days ago, KARE sent me the ratings from November, noting,”This  is the first ratings period after a major shift in prime time programming.”

So here are the 10 p.m. numbers; rating first, then share. Again, rating is percent of Twin Cities TV-owning households tuned in, share is the percentage with TVs turned on:

KARE: 5.3, 14
WCCO: 4.4, 12
KSTP: 3.8, 10
Fox9: 2.0, 5

Given NBC’s putrid prime-time performance, this qualifies as good news. (WCCO, which has CBS’ strong lead-ins, leads in total viewers, if you look beyond the 25-54 demo.)

Still, the Leno era has definitely hurt the KARE Bears. Consider the 25/54 ratings trend for each affiliate’s main evening newscast since the November 2008 book:

KARE: Down 28 percent
WCCO: Up 2 percent
KSTP: No change
Fox9 (9 p.m.): Down 26 percent

On KARE’s end, that represents a loss of about 40,000 viewers.

As for Fox9, digital video recorders, which timeshift shows more heavily into the 9 p.m. hour, aren’t helping; it will be interesting to see the station’s long-term response. You may also have noticed Fox heavily advertising its digital-signal adjustment in recent weeks; the nation’s switch from analog has been troublesome for the station.

One other note: The total TV viewing audience locally is down about 5-6 percent in the last year (another sign TVs are becoming like landline phones?). So, to milk the cliché, flat just might be the new up.

Should also note KARE’s data for the other news slots. Again, this is all 25/54 stuff:

5 a.m.

KSTP: 1.1, 13
KARE: 1.0, 13
WCCO: 0.8, 10
Fox9: 0.7, 8

6 a.m.

KARE: 2.4, 21
KSTP: 1.4, 12
Fox9: 1.2, 10
WCCO: 1.0, 9

5 p.m.

KARE: 2.8, 13
WCCO: 2.2, 11
KSTP: 2.0, 10
Fox9: 1.3, 6

6 p.m.

KARE: 3.3, 12
KSTP: 2.4, 9
WCCO: 2.2, 8
Fox9: 1.7, 6

One last geek-out: According to the stats, the total share of viewers watching local news varies from 35 percent at 6 p.m. to 52 percent at 6 a.m. At 10 p.m., 41 percent of all TVs turned on are watching one of the big four’s takes on daily events.

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