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Ups, downs and at least one winning hand for all in February D-FW newscast "sweeps"

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The February 2015 “sweeps” closed with a big ratings-enhancing “Arctic Blast,” helping Fox4, NBC5, Gannett8 and CBS11 to look a bit better from year-to-year in their battles to lure rather than lose viewers. Still, the stations lost those battles a majority of the time.

Gannett8 won the big prize by sweeping the 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). Fox4 defended its 6 a.m. title in both ratings measurements while NBC5 swept the 5 p.m. races.

CBS11 took the 6 p.m. gold in total viewers but Fox4 won a close three-way battle at that hour among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Last February’s 10 p.m. results were significantly skewed by NBC’s prime-time Winter Olympics telecasts, so we won’t include year-to-year comparisons for the late nighters. Otherwise the audience gains or losses from Feb. 2014 are in parentheses.

10 P.M.

Total Viewers
Gannett 8 -- 229,530
CBS11 -- 182,110
Fox4 -- 152,980
NBC5 -- 149,910

Gannett8 -- 91,810
Fox4 -- 84,750
NBC5 -- 67,880
CBS11 -- 44,120

Comments: Bolstered by the Olympics, NBC5 had decisive wins in both measurements last February. Bedeviled by mostly lousy NBC network lead-ins at 9 p.m., the Peacock sank badly this time. In contrast, Gannett8 overcame a lot of measly lead-ins from ABC to re-take control of the late night news Nielsens. CBS11 still has a serious 25-to-54 demographic problem, drawing less than half the 25-to-54-year-olds lured by frontrunner Gannett8.

6 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 106,800 (minus 56,530)
Gannett8 -- 94,410 (plus 9,194)
NBC5 -- 86,990 (minus 33,732)
CBS11 -- 57,460 (minus 13,553)

Fox4 -- 56,300 (minus 35,107)
NBC5 -- 35,660 (minus 22,231)
Gannett 8 -- 32,020 (minus 19,953)
CBS11 -- 29,210 (minus 1,259)

Comments: Gannett8 knocked NBC5 out of second place in total viewers and showed the only audience gains in that measurement while Fox4 and NBC5 both were way down from a year ago. On the downside, Gannett8 came perilously close to falling behind CBS11 in the 25-to-54 demographic. None of the four stations can be terribly happy about these year-to-year numbers. But CBS11 at least can glimpse a ray of sunshine during transplanted anchor Karen Borta’s first “sweeps” month as a morning co-anchor. The station lost a minimal amount of 25-to-54-year-olds compared to its rivals and has never been this close to moving out of its longstanding early morning basement.

6 P.M.

Total Viewers
CBS11 -- 178,820 (plus 22,591)
Gannett8 -- 164,130 (plus 15,003)
NBC5 -- 156,490 (minus 21,043)
Fox4 -- 117,220 (minus 17,705)

Fox4 -- 52,830 (minus 8,108)
Gannett8 -- 48,980 (minus 9,001)
NBC5 -- 48,280 (minus 12,658)
CBS11 -- 40,040 (plus 15,665)

Comments: CBS11 was the only station to register year-to-year gains in both ratings measurements while also vaulting from second place a year ago to take the total viewers crown this time. Fox4 replicated its outhouse to penthouse performance from a year ago, finishing last in total viewers and first with 25-to-54-year-olds. (In February 2014, Fox4 and NBC5 shared first place among 25-to-54-year-olds.) But Fox4 lost viewers from a year ago in both cases, as did the Peacock. Gannett8 climbed up a notch in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5, in contrast, fell from first to third in both races.

5 P.M.

Total Viewers
NBC5 -- 139,260 (minus 2,766)
Gannett8 -- 126,610 (plus 20,090)
Fox4 -- 123,850 (plus 3,128)
CBS11 -- 117,510 (plus 32,294)

NBC5 -- 43,960 (plus 1,303)
Fox4 -- 41,310 (minus 13,534)
Gannett8 -- 31,950 (minus 4,613)
CBS11 -- 30,600 (plus 3,178)

Comments: NBC5 kept its 2014 title in total viewers and dethroned Fox4 as the leader among 25-to-54-year-olds. As at 6 p.m., CBS11 was the only station to improve from a year ago in both measurements. Gannett8 moved up to second place in total viewers while barely holding off CBS11 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

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