Could Jay Leno be hurting viewership of KBJR’s 10 p.m. newscast?
Last week, the Los Angeles Times used Baltimore as an anecdote for the Leno effect, a situation where “The Jay Leno Show” is a weaker “lead-in” at 9 p.m. to the late local news.
Leno’s new show averaged about 5.5 million viewers in mid-October, less than half the audience it attracted when it premiered, and more than a third less than the audience NBC drew last season with its schedule of dramas, the L.A. Times said. The network says the declines are in line with expectations and caution patience as viewers discover the new time period for the former late-night king.
The new programming lineup, however, has pushed WBAL in Baltimore back in its tight competition with WJZ, a CBS affiliate. The stations used to be neck-and-neck in the race for viewers, but now the NBC affiliate has been shellacked in the ratings, the L.A. Times said.
Before Leno went on the air at 9 p.m., KBJR, channels 6 and 11 in Duluth, has watched viewers slip in the last year. The Northland’s Newscenter had its late local news drop four rating points from 10 in July 2008 to 6 in July 2009, according to Nielsen Media.
KBJR News Director Barbara Reyelts referred my call to Station Manager Dave Jensch. I’m awaiting a callback.
The drop tightened the race between KQDS-TV, Channel 21, and KBJR as runner-up to market leaders WDIO, Channels 10 and 13. KQDS, a Fox affiliate and the News Tribune’s news partner, had a 5 rating in both July 2009 and July 2008.
WDIO, the ABC affiliate, had a 13 in 2008 and a 10 in 2009.
UPDATE: Jon Ellis of Fox 21 News e-mailed me to say that a ratings book isn’t due in Duluth until November, meaning no concrete news about a possible "Leno effect" until then.
Also, MinnPost has a similar story on KARE-TV, the Twin Cities NBC affiliate, who has routine ratings measures. Reporter David Brauer wrote: Last year, KARE’s 10 p.m. news racked up a 6.7/16, according to Nielsen data. This year? 6.3/15. That accounts for a 6 percent drop.