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All D-FW news races too close to call at halfway mark of May "sweeps"

Margins of victory or defeat could be measured by noses or hairs by the time the May "sweeps" ratings period says bye-bye on the night of May 26th.

At the 10-weekday halfway mark, the 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. races are tighter than a rusted lug nut on a '55 Ford pickup, as Dan Rather might say and no doubt has.

The 5 and 6 p.m. competitions also remain in play, but there's a bit more breathing room. Here's how it looks, according to the latest Nielsen Media Research ratings:

10 P.M.

WFAA8 and CBS11 are tied for first in total viewers, averaging 190,016 apiece. Among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming, CBS11 leads NBC5 by a score of 76,725 to 73,656, with WFAA8 close behind in third place (70,587).

6 A.M.

Fox4 and NBC5 are dukin' it out. The Peacock leads in total viewers by a margin of 101,795 to 95,008. But Fox4 has a similar paper-thin lead among 25-to-54-year-olds -- 61,380 to 58,311. In each case, the margin is just one-tenth of a rating point.

There's also still a battle for third place in total viewers. WFAA8 so far is averaging 61,077 viewers to CBS11's 54,290. CBS11 has never finished better than fourth in the early mornings.

6 P.M.

WFAA8 has the inside track in total viewers, although it's still close. The ABC station currently leads both NBC5 and CBS11 by three-tenths of a rating point (20,359 viewers).

Among 25-to-54-year-olds, Fox4 is in first place with an average of 55,242 viewers. That's a margin of two-tenths of a point -- 6,138 viewers -- over WFAA8.

5 P.M.

WFAA8 again has the lead in total viewers, by a score of 115,367 to 95,008 over NBC5. That's a three-tenths of a rating point margin.

Fox4 likewise has a three-tenths of a point lead over WFAA8 with 25-to-54-year-olds. The gap between the two currently is 9,207 viewers.