KUSA’s “Next with Kyle Clark” generates more buzz than ratings – The Denver Post

Digital Replica Edition
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Digital Replica Edition
By Joanne Ostrow, Special to The Denver Post
While Denver legacy station KUSA remains the market kingpin, and KCNC is No. 2 in key news races, there is one ripple in the latest Nielsen ratings. According to the November sweeps report, the debut of “Next with Kyle Clark” at 6 p.m. on KUSA-Channel 9, generated more buzz than ratings.
The nontraditional “Next,” which debuted in August — long on personality and commentary — has lost ground compared to Channel 9’s previous 6 p.m. newscast (down 39 percent from 3.01 rating to 1.84), but still ranks No. 1 at that hour. Is it possible the innovation has alienated viewers who prefer a classic newscast?
“We’re happy with the content,” 9News president and general manager Steve Carter said. “It’s doing very well on social media. We can’t worry about the ratings right away because we’re trying something different.”
Speaking of KUSA’s effort with “Next,” Holly Gauntt, vice president of news and digital content at KDVR, said, “I have to applaud any station or company in our industry that’s innovative and trying new things. I have to admit the huge (ratings) decline at 6 p.m. would concern me.”
KUSA is betting on the strong engagement of the show’s viewers on social media.
By contrast, KCNC news director Tim Wieland noted his station’s audience growth at 5 and 6 p.m. “Our tagline is ‘This is the news,’ and we focus on a hard news broadcast. That synchs very well with the kind of newscast Scott Pelley is doing with the ‘CBS Evening News.’ We’ve seen substantial gains in viewers who want a serious treatment of the news in our community and in the country. It’s not a coincidence we’re up 40 percent and Pelley is up 44 percent.”
At 6 p.m., KUSA drew a 1.8 rating, 8 share; KCNC followed with a 1.1 rating, 5 share, KMGH trailed with a 0.8 rating, 3 share.
For the Denver market, when measuring adults 25-54, 1 rating point equals 16,416 viewers. There are 1,637,380 homes in the market. Denver ranks as market No. 17. A ratings point represents 1 percent of the total number of households with televisions; share is the percentage of TV sets in use at a particular time.
Despite the election-year goldmine in political TV ad revenue, particularly in battleground states like Colorado, the Denver market overall is flat year-to-year in terms of local TV news consumption. (Variety reported TV spending was projected to hit $4.4 billion for the 2016 election cycle, up from $3.8 billion in 2012.)
Who won Election Night? From 9 to 10 p.m., KUSA reported, “more viewers tuned to 9News and NBC than all other news competitors combined.”
In the weeknight 10 p.m. battle, among the typical news audience of 25- to 54-year-olds, KUSA led with a 3.1 rating, 10 share; KCNC was next with a 1.3 rating, 4 share; closely followed by KMGH-Channel 7 and KDVR-Channel 31 tied with a 1.2 rating, 4 share.
The Fox31 newscasts at 9, 9:30 and 10 p.m. showed impressive gains while competitors declined from a year ago. At 10 p.m., Fox31 was up 36 percent, Channel 7 was up 19 percent, Channel 4 was down 21 percent and Channel 9 was down 18 percent compared to a year earlier.
KUSA continued its dominance in the morning, winning every newscast (4:30, 5, 5:30 and 6 a.m.), and posting significant year-to-year increases at 5 a.m. (up 29 percent in rating) and 5:30 a.m. (up 20 percent).
While other local outlets suffered losses at 6 a.m., the only station to show an increase from 6 to 7 a.m. was KWGN’s “Daybreak,” gaining 6 percent to finish No. 2 to KUSA.
CBS affiliate KCNC-Channel 4 benefited from the network’s strong performance. In prime time, 15 of Denver viewers’ most popular shows —  excluding sports or news —  are on CBS. “60 Minutes” still tops the list, followed by: “The Big Bang Theory”; “NCIS”; “Bull”; “Blue Bloods”; “NCIS-Los Angeles”; “Madam Secretary”; “NCIS-New Orleans”; “NCIS-Encore”; “This Is Us” on NBC; “Hawaii 5-0”; “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC 8-10 p.m.; “Great Indoors”; “The Voice” on NBC; “Mom”; “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC 7-9 p.m.; “Code Black”; “The Voice” on NBC Tuesday 7-8 p.m.; “Life in Pieces”; and a “Bull” encore.
In late-night,  Denver viewers continued to favor Jimmy Fallon (NBC), who led with a 1.39 rating. Stephen Colbert (CBS) drew a 0.64 rating, and Jimmy Kimmel (ABC) managed a 0.42. All lost viewers from 2015.
The sweeps measure local TV ratings to set future advertising rates.
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