During the July ratings period, when the George Zimmerman trial was the top local story, WFTV-Channel 9 reclaimed the No. 1 spot at 5 p.m. The ABC affiliate continued to lead at 6 a.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Other stations posted victories in the ratings period, which ended Wednesday. WOFL-Channel 35 was the dominant No. 1 at 10 p.m.

WESH-Channel 2 offered the favorite newscast at 4 p.m., easily topping WFTV, which recently started offering news in the time slot. 

WKMG-Channel 6 had the edge at 5 a.m., then WFTV pulled to the front at 5:30 a.m. and remained there. These races are figured on the 25-to-54 age group, which is most important to news advertisers.

At 6 p.m. weekdays, WFTV averaged nearly 31,000 viewers to WESH's 26,900, WOFL's 24,800 and WKMG's 17,400.

The tightest race was 11 p.m. Monday-Friday. WFTV averaged 25,900 viewers and edged WESH with 25,700. WKMG drew 21,600 and WOFL pulled in 15,200.

When the race is figured on Monday-Sunday, WFTV had 26,600 viewers and a bigger lead over WESH (24,000) and WKMG (20,900). 

The 5 p.m. time slot has been the most contested in recent months. WESH won the hour in May. In June, WOFL pulled to the front at 5 p.m., but WFTV was the leader at 5:30. In a tight July race, WFTV was on top with with 21,700 viewers to WOFL's 21,000, WESH's 19,900 and WKMG's 9,900.

The race was not tight at 10 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Fox-owned WOFL averaged 21,400 viewers. The WESH news on sister station WKCF-Channel 18 had 7,900 viewers, and the WFTV news on sister station WRDQ-Channel 27 had 7,800.

In households, WFTV had a bigger lead in many time slots. At 6 p.m., for instance, WFTV averaged 113,900 homes to WESH's 72,100, WOFL's 37,700 and WKMG's 36,700. But advertisers are most interested in a station's reach with the 25-to-54 age group.

The stations trumpeted their growth in the 25-to-54 age group. In the eight weekdays of normal programming since the trial ended, WESH said its ratings jumped  60 percent at noon, 8 percent at 4 p.m. and 57 percent at 6 p.m.

WOFL posted big gains from a year ago: Its 6 p.m. news increased by more than 60 percent, its 9 a.m. hour was up 100 percent and its 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. ratings climbed 25 percent.

 

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