Baltimore area viewers want their early evening local news. And WMAR-TV (Channel 2) has what they want.
That's one of the messages that came through loud and clear with release of the advance local ratings for January, from A.C. Nielsen. Channel 2's audience at 5 continued to grow last month and is now twice as large as the audience for reruns of "Golden Girls" and "Who's the Boss?" on WBAL-TV (Channel 11). Channel 11 canceled its 5 o'clock news in September and replaced it with the entertainment programs.
Last month, Channel 2's early evening newscast was seen in about 140,000 area homes. That's up by a margin of 37,000 homes from January 1991. Reruns of "The Cosby Show" and "Night Court" on WJZ-TV (Channel 13) were seen in about 84,000 homes. Nielsen put Channel 11's audience at about 65,000 homes for "The Golden Girls" and "Who's the Boss?" during the 5 to 6 o'clock hour.
At 6 o'clock when all three stations go head-to-head with news, Channel 13 again moves into first place. Channel 13's 6 p.m. newscast is seen in about 167,000 area homes, Channel 2's in about 93,000 and Channel 11's in 56,000 homes. "Married With )) Children" on WBFF-TV (Channel 45) finished a tight fourth with about 47,000 homes, while WNUV-TV (Channel 54) had about 37,000 for "A Different World" reruns.
At 11 p.m., Channel 13 again leads the pack with an audience of about 130,000 homes. Channel 11 is second with 84,000 homes, and Channel 2 trails with 65,000.
WBFF-TV (Channel 45) "News at 10" was watched in about 28,000, the same audience as it had in November. A year-to-year comparison cannot be made, because the show is not yet a year old.