WPTV NewsChannel 5 retains its news leadership position in the post-Oprah period

Mon, November 28, 2011 by Steve Wasserman

Even without Oprah, WPTV NewsChannel 5, dominates the West Palm Beach market.  WPTV has been the most-watched television station for news since it signed on the air in 1954. In the just-completed November Nielsen ratings sweep, WPTV maintained its competitive leadership for viewers. This is the first ratings sweep since longtime daytime talk queen, Oprah Winfrey, ended her syndicated show at the end of the last TV season. Oprah had been on WPTV at 4:00pm since she began her national show in 1986.

According to the Nielsen overnight ratings, an estimated 52,000 households, in the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast, viewed WPTV’s 5:00pm weekday newscast. That is nearly as many people who watched the two competing local TV newscasts combined and represents nearly 49% of all local TV news viewing at 5:00pm. At 5:30pm, that number increased to 53% with 62,000 households tuned to WPTV. By 6:00pm, NewsChannel 5 commanded nearly 57% of local TV news viewing with an audience of 82,000 households, more than the two competing stations combined.

“There had been a lot of speculation in the industry about stations that were losing Oprah and, as a result, might be losing their news leadership position. But that was not the case for us”, said Steve Wasserman, WPTV’s vice president and general manager. “We are delighted, but not surprised, that our news viewers continue to turn to us at 5:00pm for their news. It speaks to our long tradition of quality journalism and community involvement. We have never taken our viewers for granted,” Wasserman added.

WPTV also placed first in all other local newscast time periods, according to the Nielsen overnight ratings and retains its position as the highest rated television station in the state of Florida. 

WPTV’s 5:00pm newscast is co-anchored by Shannon Cake and Jay Cashmere. The 5:30pm news is co-anchored by Kelley Dunn and Michael Williams. Dunn teams up with Jim Sackett to co-anchor NewsChannel 5 at 6:00pm. Sackett delivered his farewell broadcast on November 23. He is retiring from WPTV after more than 33 years as its lead anchor.

WPTV NewsChannel 5, the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Fla., is owned by The E.W. Scripps Company, which owns and operates 10 stations from coast to coast.

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