Call it the "Oprah" factor.
The advance results of the February "sweeps" survey of television viewing in Baltimore were released by Arbitron yesterday, and the performance of "Oprah Winfrey," which airs at 4 p.m. weekdays on WMAR-TV (Channel 2), stands out.
Winfrey not only continued her dominance of the key 4 p.m. time slot here, but also added about 19,000 television homes to her audience from a year ago.
The good news for Channel 2 is that the extra 19,000 homes stayed with the station at 5 p.m. when Ms. Winfrey signs off and local news begins. Channel 2's news at 5 is up by about 19,000 viewers from a year ago; its 6 p.m. show is up by 37,000 homes.
Both WJZ-TV (Channel 13) and WBAL-TV (Channel 11) are down at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. from a year ago.
Overall, the final standings remain unchanged from those of January. Channel 13 is in first, Channel 2 is in second and Channel 11 is in last place among local affiliates.
A footnote: "Entertainment Tonight" was watched in about 28,000 fewer Baltimore homes than "Eve
ning Magazine" was last year. Channel 13 canceled "Evening Magazine" in December.