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CBS11 nabs a 10 p.m. win, Fox4 scores with 25-to-54-year-olds and TEGNA8 goes winless in November "sweeps" local news ratings

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CBS11 topped a tight fight at 10 p.m. to win at that hour in total D-FW viewers for the first time since since February 2016 while TEGNA8 went winless for the first time in memory during a ratings “sweeps” month.

Final results for November also show Fox4 crushing the opposition at 6 a.m. while also winning among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) in all four major local battlegrounds. NBC5 entered the winner’s circles with first place finishes in total viewers at both 5 and 6 p.m.

It was a big fall for TEGNA8, which won the November 2017 sweeps at 10 p.m. in both ratings measurements while adding a 6 p.m. first in total viewers. The station was without 6 and 10 p.m. co-anchor Cynthia Izaguirre throughout November of this year after she took an extended adoption leave and also had a hysterectomy that she disclosed publicly. Incumbent anchor/reporter Marie Saavedra instead teamed with John McCaa, who’s retiring in March of next year.

But CBS11 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers with longtime anchor Doug Dunbar soloing while the station presumably continues to search for a replacement for Kaley O’Kelley. She left the station back in May and now is an early morning anchor in Phoenix.

Save for 6 a.m., the races were closely contested this November. In some cases, ties have been broken by going to the next decimal point, as with TEGNA8’s paper-thin second place finish at 10 p.m. ahead of NBC5 in the total viewers’ measurement. TEGNA8 averaged a 1.96 rating and NBC5 a 1.95. So if the Peacock wants to call it a tie, that’s justified. But at unclebarky.com, we go the extra decimal point when the data is available.

Here are the complete results, with year-to-year audience gains or losses in parentheses.

10 P.M.

Total Viewers
CBS11 -- 144,101 (minus 5,463)
TEGNA8 -- 137,774 (minus 40,279)
NBC5 -- 137,071 (plus 8,873)
Fox4 -- 124,419 (plus 10,465)

Fox4 -- 47,820 (plus 759)
TEGNA8 -- 41,521 (minus 11,422)
NBC5 -- 38,657 (plus 420)
CBS11 -- 30,067 (minus 11,111)

Comments: McCaa’s last “sweeps” roundup at TEGNA will be in February, and that might give the reeling station a boost along with the expected return of Izaguirre. After that, TEGNA8 had better hope it has found the right replacement in Chris Lawrence, whose hiring was announced earlier this month. It could well be a tipping point, one way or the other. In the here and now, TEGNA8 is bleeding pretty badly at 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, Dunbar could be hoisted and carried around on a throne for a day if station management allowed it. In the modern era (dating to when your friendly content provider began covering this stuff in 1980), no 10 p.m. newscast with a single co-anchor -- let alone a white male one -- has ever prevailed in a 10 p.m. sweeps ratings period. So maybe they don’t need to hire a desk mate? But that would be a very unlikely course of events.

CBS11 obviously still has problems in the key 25-to-54-year-old demographic, with its parent network for the most part skewing north of Forest Lawn among younger viewers. The station benefited from the best 9:45 to 10 p.m. network lead-in among total viewers. But CBS provided the worst lead-in among 25-to-54-year-olds.

6 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 132,151 (plus 18,197)
TEGNA8 -- 59,046 (minus 5,053)
NBC5 -- 57,640 (minus 20,703)
CBS11 -- 36,552 (minus 6,181)

Fox4 -- 77,601 (plus 15,834)
TEGNA8 -- 26,917 (minus 2,496)
CBS11 -- 14,318 (minus 3,330)
NBC5 -- 13,172 (minus 25,065)

Comments: The D-FW market has never seen this kind of dominance. Fox4 hasn’t lost a single weekday in either ratings measurement since March 30th. And the station is still gaining viewers while all three of its rivals are down year-to-year. TEGNA8 has separated itself from the pack of 25-to-54-year-old also-rans while still losing audience from November 2017. But NBC5’s showing is an out-and-out disaster, particularly among 25-to-54-year-olds, where it dropped from second to last place, even behind CBS11.

The 7 to 9 a..m. portion of Fox4’s Good Day similarly crushed the three network morning news shows while the expanded 9 to 10 a.m. hour won convincingly if not quite as overwhelmingly. Continuity and a basically unchanging format appear to be the keys for Fox4, with veteran lead anchor Tim Ryan the glue that keeps on sticking.

6 P.M.

Total Viewers
NBC5 -- 137,071 (plus 8,873)
CBS11 -- 127,230 (plus 13,276)
TEGNA8 -- 123,013 (minus 26,551)
Fox4 -- 108,954 (minus 12,122)

Fox4 -- 39,516 (minus 7,545)
NBC5 -- 34,076 (minus 9,639)
CBS11 -- 24,912 (plus 1,382)
TEGNA8 -- 23,767 (minus 11,529)

Comments: TEGNA8 bled more viewers than any of its rivals, with an especially poor showing among 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 remained on top in this demographic while likewise losing viewers year-to-year; NBC5 knocked TEGNA8 out of first place in total viewers while also upping its audience a bit. CBS11 is the only station to show gains over November 2017 in both measurements.

5 P.M.

Total Viewers
NBC5 -- 138,477 (plus 10,279)
Fox4 -- 120,201 (plus 6,247)
TEGNA8 -- 99,113 (minus 7,719)
CBS11 -- 71,699 (plus 7,600)

Fox4 -- 33,789 (minus 4,448)
NBC5 -- 31,785 (minus 6,452)
CBS11 -- 16,036 (plus 1,329)
TEGNA8 -- 12,886 (minus 4,762)

Comments: TEGNA8 has paid the price for TEGNA corporate’s basically unwatched mid-afternoon lineup of programming. Namely Sister Circle, Daily Blast and Inside Edition, which provide a minuscule lead-in for TEGNA8’s dead last 4 p.m. newscast, which in turn infects the ratings for the 5 p.m. edition.

NBC5 and Fox4 otherwise respectively repeated as 5 p.m. champs while CBS11 inched ahead of TEGNA8 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Postscript: TEGNA8 is the only station to lose viewers across the board from year-to-year. So there are no upsides at all to one of the station’s worst -- if not the worst -- performances in local newscast sweeps history. There simply are no brights spots.

CBS11 won just once, but that’s a lot better than what it’s done recently. The station also punched TEGNA8 into last-place among 25-to-54-year-olds at both 5 and 6 p.m.

NBC5 has severe problems in the important 6 a.m. race, where it easily lost more viewers than any other station. Fox4 again claimed the most first-place finishes with five. And its dominance in the early mornings is both eye-popping and seemingly unstoppable.

A few other ratings of note . . .

***Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast ran a very close second to CBS in total viewers and trailed competing ABC network programming by just a small margin among 18-to-49-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for entertainment programming).

***CBS11’s syndicated Wheel of Fortune edged the three competing 6:30 p.m. rag mags among 18-to-49ers and again crushed them in total viewers. It remains the D-FW market’s biggest programming heist, with the then Belo-owned WFAA-TV (Ch. 8) coughing up Pat and Vanna in the fall of 2005 after deeming their show too old-skewing.

***Fox4’s first ratings “sweeps” outing for Free 4 All fared well in the 10:30 p.m. slot. The Mike Doocy-hosted half-hour inched past the first half-hours of all three network late night shows in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic and ran a close third among total viewers.

*** NBC5’s one-hour 4 p.m. local newscast was tops in total viewers, beating rivals CBS11 and TEGNA8 plus Fox4’s double helping of Judge Judy. But JJ had the edge with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net