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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Aug. 27) -- back to school means back on top for Fox4

Management and talent at Fox4 news exhaled into their Morning Joes or teas Tuesday. After a summer-long period of more downs than ups, the station's early morning newscast moved back to the top spot on the big back-to-school Monday.

This is generally an audience booster for all four of D-FW's major waker-uppers. And three of the four combatants in fact upped their audiences from the previous Monday. Let's look at the 6 to 7 a.m. Nielsen form charts, with ups or downs in parentheses:


Fox4 -- 121,934 (+47,419 from Mon., Aug. 20)
WFAA8 -- 88,063 (+13,548)
NBC5 -- 81,289 (-13,548)
CBS11 -- 27,096 (+6,774)

25-to-54-YEAR-OLDS (main advertiser target audience for news programming)

Fox4 -- 66,205 (+27,084)
WFAA8 -- 48,149 (+6,019)
NBC5 -- 42,130 (-6,019)
CBS11 -- 12,037 (+3,009)

This is just one day, of course. And it likely will be a close three-way race for the top in both ratings measurements as summer turns into fall and weather becomes more of a factor for Little Johnny Elementary-Kiddo. Then come the November "sweeps."

Monday's back-to-school numbers also underscore how far back CBS11 is, with no realistic hopes of even sniffing in the vicinity of third place any time this year. The station yet again is regrouping in the early mornings with a mostly new team while NBC5 likewise has a number of new faces. The comparative old hands are at Fox4 and WFAA8, with the latter station's Ron Corning already the No. 2 male anchor in seniority after just 16 months on the job.

Elsewhere Monday, the Texas Rangers again dominated the prime-time ratings with their 6-5 home win over Tampa Bay. An average of 250,642 viewers watched the game on Fox Sports Southwest, with another 33,871 opting for ESPN's coverage. The runners-up were Fox's Hell's Kitchen, Fox4's following 9 p.m. local newscast and CBS' 7:30 p.m. repeat of The Big Bang Theory. All three had 169,353 viewers apiece.

The Rangers likewise were the top draw among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, the key audience for non-news programming. Hell's Kitchen ran second.

In the other local news derby results, WFAA8 ran first at 10 p.m. in total viewers but Fox4 again ruled with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 won at 5 p.m. in total viewers and at 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic.

The other golds went to WFAA8 at 6 p.m. in total viewers and Fox4 at 5 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds.