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CBS11 news No. 1 at 6 and 10 p.m. in total viewers; Fox4 also scores in November "sweeps"

CBS11 anchors Doug Dunbar, Karen Borta drew the most viewers at 6 & 10 p.m. during the four-week November "sweeps" ratings period. Photo: Ed Bark

CBS11 again ranked No. 1 at 10 p.m. in total viewers during the November "sweeps," giving the station a sweep of the year's three major D-FW ratings competitions.

Last November's 10 p.m. champ, WFAA8, since has been runner-up to CBS11 in the February, May and November sweeps.

CBS11 also notched a 6 p.m. win in total viewers by a thin margin over WFAA8. Fox4 also is a happy warrior after sweeping the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. Fox4 added a 6 p.m. first among 25-to-54-year-olds while WFAA8's lone win came at 10 p.m. in this key demographic.

The four-week November sweeps officially end after Wednesday's Nielsen numbers are in. But local stations are likely to take a holiday designation more often than not on a heavy pre-Thanksgiving travel day in which TV audiences generally are deflated. That allows them to "throw out" Wednesday's numbers.

We've again taken the numbers to the thousandths rather than tenths of decimal points to determine winners in very tight races. But all of the leads are basically safe at this point.

Here are the November sweeps results, with all four of the major combatants benefiting a bit from year-to-year ratings inflation in the total viewers measurement. Last year at this time, each full Nielsen ratings point was worth 67,741 total viewers; it now equals 68,842. But there's been a little year-to-year erosion in the 25-to-54 demographic. The value of each rating point now stands at 29,811 viewers, down from 30,093 last November. Note that numbers in parentheses reflect the year-to-year ups and downs in newscast viewership.

10 P.M.

Total Viewers
CBS11 -- 210,037 (up from 201,300)
WFAA8 -- 173,757 (down from 206,300)
Fox4 -- 115,792 (up from 108,386)
NBC5 -- 111,662 (down from 115,160)

WFAA8 -- 76,137 (down from 87,270)
Fox4 -- 67,164 (up from 66,205)
NBC5 -- 56,969 (down from 60,186)
CBS11 -- 45,551 (down from 69,214)

Comment: CBS11 again benefited from the market's strongest 9:45 to 10 p.m. total viewer lead-ins via CBS network programming. But ABC furnished WFAA8 with the most 25-to-54-year-olds while NBC's final quarter hour of prime-time programming tied CBS in that key demographic.

Still, CBS11's year-to-year 10 p.m. falloff among 25-to-54-year-olds obviously is of major concern. In that respect, WFAA8 will claim victory internally, even though it also lost considerable year-to-year ground in the chase for these viewers.

The promotional advantage still goes to CBS11, though. It can tout itself as the home of D-FW's most-watched 10 p.m. newscasts. WFAA8 would have to resort to an almost invisible fine print disclaimer because it can't launch a promo saying, "We're No. 1 among the only viewers that matter." That's how you lose viewers.

6 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 107,118 (down from 108,386)
WFAA8 -- 85,433 (up from 74,515)
NBC5 -- 81,440 (down from 94,837)
CBS11 -- 50,117 (up from 33,871)

Fox4 -- 63,319 (down from 66,205)
WFAA8 -- 48,711 (up from 45,140)
NBC5 -- 43,107 (down from 51,158)
CBS11 -- 22,001 (up from 18,056)

Comment: Despite a little slippage, Fox4 retained its 6 a.m. crowns by sizable margins. Meanwhile, NBC5 tumbled from second to third place in both measurements, with WFAA8 now the runner-up waker-up after decent-sized gains.

CBS11 may never get to the promised land here. But at least the station showed signs of moving in the right direction (particularly among total viewers) with its new anchor team of Brendan Higgins and Adrienne Bankert.

6 P.M.

Total Viewers
CBS11 -- 153,380 (down from 169,472)
WFAA8 -- 146,840 (up from 121,934)
NBC5 -- 117,789 (up from 115,160)
Fox4 -- 106,980 (down from 128,708)

Fox4 -- 54,882 (down from 57,177)
WFAA8 -- 52,974 (up from 45,140)
NBC5 -- 41,616 (up from 39,121)
CBS11 -- 22,597 (down from 33,102)

Comment: Neither of the victors can be overly thrilled here. CBS11 lost a sizable chunk of its audience and barely held off WFAA8 in total viewers after dominating a year ago. And WFAA8 came within an eyelash of dethroning Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

CBS11 still suffers from the market's overall weakest network news lead-in -- Texas native Scott Pelley's CBS Evening News. But it still profits from big "lead-out" ratings from Wheel of Fortune, particularly among total viewers. Had WFAA8 kept Wheel of Fortune, instead of rejecting it as "too old" seven years ago, it no doubt would still be No. 1 at 6 p.m. And probably by a very sizable margin in total viewers.

5 P.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 115,379 (down from 121,934)
NBC5 -- 112,419 (down from 121,934)
WFAA8 -- 91,904 (up from 88,063)
CBS11 -- 89,839 (down 115,160)

Fox4 -- 43,733 (down from 54,167)
NBC5 -- 30,795 (down from 39,121)
WFAA8 -- 30,288 (down from 33,102)
CBS11 -- 22,746 (down from 30,093)

It's a pretty miserable time period for all concerned. All four stations lost viewers from a year ago in the 25--to-54 demographic. And only WFAA8 gained a relative handful of total viewers while still ranking a pretty distant third.

In other ratings news . . . WFAA8's syndicated Katie, which airs from 4 to 5 p.m. as an early evening news lead-in, averaged just 48,189 total viewers in the November sweeps. That put it fourth behind Fox4's double dose of Judge Judy (89,495 and 117,031 viewers) and the one-hour local newscasts on NBC5 (82,610) and CBS11 (61,958). Katie inched up to third with 25-to-54-year-olds, ahead of CBS11.

***CW33's new comedy-infused 9 p.m. Nightcap news hour averaged 15,971 total viewers opposite Fox4's 9 p.m. news (148,974 viewers).

***KTXD-TV's (Ch. 47) The Texas Daily barely got out of "hashmarks" territory (no measurable audience) in its inaugural sweeps month. The 8 a.m. live telecast averaged 1,101 viewers while the 6 p.m. repeat pulled in 3,404.

Another new locally produced KTXD program, Texas Living averaged 1,239 viewers in the 11 a.m. hour. This is a market of 6.842 million viewers. So there's pretty much nowhere to go but up.