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November "sweeps" end with WFAA8 taking command of late night while Fox4 remains shakily in charge of early morn

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Delayed a bit by the holidays, the November “sweeps” ratings results have arrived -- and in a big way for WFAA8 and Fox4.

After going winless in November 2018, WFAA8 rebounded to run first at 10 p.m. in both total D-FW viewers and in the key 25-to-54-year-old age range (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

CBS11, which had been the 10 p.m. champ in total viewers for three consecutive sweeps periods, fell to a second place tie with NBC5 in that measurement. Fox 4, last November’s late night winner among 25-to-54-year-olds, was the runner-up this time out.

WFAA8 also won in total viewers at 6 p.m. after placing third in November of last year. Of equal import, it was the only station to show year-to-year viewer gains in all eight competitions.

Fox4 retained its long held crowns at 6 a.m., but the victory margins suffered major shrinkage from November 2018. The station also won at 5 and 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic to emerge as the overall top performer with four wins. NBC5 broke in to claim first place in total viewers at 6 p.m., repeating its win from a year ago.

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

10 P.M.

Total Viewers
WFAA8 -- 183,643 (plus 45,869)
NBC5/CBS11 -- 136,032 apiece (minus 1,039/minus 8,069)
Fox4 -- 95,222 (minus 29,197)

WFAA8 -- 51,880 (plus 10,359)
Fox4 -- 40,958 (minus 6,862)
NBC5 -- 35,497 (minus 3,160)
CBS11 -- 21,844 (minus 8,223)

Comments: This is clearly a resounding win for WFAA8 and in part for longtime anchor John McCaa’s replacement, Chris Lawrence. The station was helped somewhat by the ABC network’s stronger performances from 9 to 10 p.m. In each case, WFAA8 then built on the lead-in audiences it inherited and ended as the only station to show year-to-year gains in both audience measurements.

CBS11 in large part has been soloing with Doug Dunbar at 10 p.m. since co-anchor Kaley O’Kelley left way back in May 2018. Given these latest results, it might finally want to give him some company in time for the February sweeps. At Fox4, anchor dean Clarice Tinsley continues to go it alone, which was fine when the station was winning among 25-to-54-year-olds. Is it possibly time for a change? The question at least has to be asked as Tinsley nears her 42nd year at Fox4.

6 A.M.

Total Viewers
Fox4 -- 122,429 (minus 9,722)
NBC5 -- 102,024 (plus 44,384)
WFAA8 -- 88,421 (plus 29,375)
CBS11 -- 47,611 (plus 11,059)

Fox4 -- 46,419 (minus 31,182)
WFAA8 -- 38,227 (plus 11,310)
NBC5 -- 35,497 (plus 22,325)
CBS11 -- 19,114 (plus 5,942)

Comments: A win’s a win, but this is a pretty hollow one for Fox4, which last November more than doubled the audience of its closest competitor in both ratings measurements. As the only station to suffer year-to-year audience drop-offs in this hot battleground, Fox4 now faces strong pushes from both NBC5 and WFAA8. The Peacock’s cheery “Wake Up to Something Good” campaign appears to be resonating, with NBC5 the only station with female co-anchors in a replication of the NBC network’s Today show.

WFAA8 in turn has showcased its morning crew in a lavishly produced song-and dance video while continuing to go heavy on social media segments. The loss of showy traffic anchor Demetria Obilor, who left in October, may have dented the station’s momentum a bit, though. Going into the “sweeps,” WFAA8 looked ready to topple Fox4. Now it’s also in a battle with NBC5, which flexed the largest year-to-year audience gains.

Fox4 has a veteran, battle-tested foursome in place, and this may have been just a big hiccup. Or not. Meanwhile, even CBS11 inched up a wee bit from November to November, but remains essentially an afterthought in this volatile early morning mix.

6 P.M.

Total Viewers
WFAA8 -- 163,238 (plus 40,225)
NBC5 -- 156,437 (plus 19,366)
Fox4 -- 115,627 (plus 6,673)
CBS11 -- 102,024 (minus 25,206)

Fox4 -- 49,149 (plus 9,993)
NBC5/WFAA8 -- 38,277 apiece (plus 4,201/plus 14,510)
CBS11 -- 19,114 (minus 5,798)

Comments: WFAA8 moved up two notches from a year ago to win in total viewers while rising from last to a second-place tie with 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 retained its top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds and joined NBC5 and WFAA8 in showing November-to-November viewer increases. Then there’s CBS11, which fell to last place across the board and was the only station to also suffer audience minuses. There’s a long, long way to go over there.

5 P.M.

Total Viewers
NBC5 -- 142,834 (plus 4,357)
Fox4/WFAA8 -- 129,230 apiece (plus 9,029/plus 30,117)
CBS11 -- 74,818 (plus 3,119)

Fox4 -- 40,958 (plus 7,169)
NBC5 -- 30,036 (minus 1,749)
WFAA8 -- 24,575 (plus 11,689)
CBS11 -- 13,653 (minus 2,383)

Comments: NBC5 and Fox4 replicated their respective first-place finishes from a year ago, but WFAA8 registered the biggest audience gains. Among 25-to-54-year-olds in particular, WFAA8 came close to doubling the audience it drew last November. But the station still finished third, a notch up from November 2018. CBS11 in contrast is virtually nowhere in sight, especially in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Other November sweeps results of note:

*** Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast ran first in that hour with 18-to-49-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for entertainment programmings), outdrawing the offerings on ABC, NBC and CBS. The news tied ABC for second in total viewers, with CBS winning the hour.

*** In the 6:30 p.m. slot, CBS11’s syndicated Wheel of Fortune continued to crush the three competing entertainment rag mags in total viewers while also outdrawing Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and Extra among 18-to-49-year-olds. Pat Sajak, 73, and Vanna White, 62, still show no signs of growing old with “the kids.”

*** The three-way 4 p.m. local newscast wars were won by NBC5 in total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds. But Fox4’s competing double dose of Judge Judy was still No. 1 in that hour in both ratings measurements.

*** Fox4’s 7 to 9 a.m. portion of Good Day continued to easily outdraw the three network morning shows in both total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds. The 9 a.m. portion of Good Day likewise won its slot while WFAA8’s competing homegrown Good Morning Texas ran fourth in also losing to network fare on NBC and CBS.

*** Fox4’s locally produced Free 4 All fared well at 10:30 p.m. among 18-to-49-year-olds, running second to the first half-hour of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel while outpointing the 10:30 to 11 p.m. portions of NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Stephen Colbert.

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