The May "sweeps" results show Baltimore's NBC affiliate, WBAL, remains at the top of the ratings heap.
In local numbers released yesterday by Nielsen Media Research, Channel 11 won several key categories, although it had strong competition from CBS affiliate WJZ, Channel 13.
WJZ benefited from a strong prime-time showing by its network programming, with an average of 98,000 viewers between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. In second place during the 8 p.m.-to-10 p.m. time period was WBFF, Channel 45. The Fox affiliate's average of 78,000 viewers was reached in part on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because of the powerhouse draw of the just-concluded American Idol.
But WBAL led the ratings from sign-on to sign-off - that is, from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. - with an average of 54,000 viewers, followed by WJZ's 51,000. A distant third was WBFF (27,000), closely trailed by WMAR, Channel 2, the ABC affiliate (24,000). Then came Fox's WUTB, Channel 24 (13,000) and WNUV, Channel 54 (6,000), an affiliate of the CW network.
While WJZ's morning news shows from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. had some 49,000 viewers on average, beating WBAL's programming at that hour by just 4,000, audiences turned in large numbers to NBC's Today show at 7 a.m. (78,000 versus 41,000 for CBS' Early Show).
And, although WJZ retained its usual high ratings for The Price is Right at 11 a.m., its noon news show and its afternoon soaps, WBAL came out way ahead with Oprah at 4 p.m. Its afternoon news shows, between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., had an average of 85,000 viewers, compared with WJZ's 47,000.
For its 11 p.m newscast, considered the most important of the day, WBAL drew an average of 120,000 viewers, followed by WJZ (96,000) and WMAR (40,000). WBFF's hourlong news show at 10 p.m. pulled in 71,000 viewers on average.