Is Leno hurting KBJR?

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.

13 thoughts on “Is Leno hurting KBJR?

  1. With the news being so dismal these days, maybe folks are looking for some other outlet, such as a comedy show.

  2. And in this day and age, we get bombarded with news CONSTANTLY. We get it on webpages, our phones, the radio, tv blurbs/crawls/interruptions. I know for myself, the last thing I ever want to do anymore is sit down and watch any of our local newspeople blab and giggle with each other.

  3. I know I stopped watching as soon as they moved the weather to the final part of the newscast forcing me to watch the sports report. I just watch the AM shows on ABC and skip the evening news now because of the forced sports. Nice move, most mean everone was clicking off once they watched George. Idiots.

  4. What I don’t get is why they have the news on at 9 on CW, and My9 at 9pm, and then the news again on 3 and 6 at 10pm and all 4 are the same exact news cast.. they say more news more times.. HA! their not giving us anything more. I watch 21 or 10.. atleast their stuff isn’t all the same garbage.

  5. I sure hate to say this David, but the KBJR news casts have fallen back in quality. KQDS and WDIO seem to have moved ahead. I’ve known David since 1978 and it hurts to say this and wish I didn’t feel this way. Kevin Jacobson can’t correctly pronounce the names of cities in our vast region, other reporters can’t correctly pronounce the ethnic names in our region, your sports reporters think it is hockey season year round, and the weather department leaves out critical small towns in it’s reporting and forecasts. I’ll come in and help you correct these oversights, if you want me too. But you will have to commit your staff to take constructive criticism in good faith. You David are a good man.

  6. It’s getting to be just like the newspaper. Why bother watching news on TV when I can pick and choose on the internet? And I really don’t give a crap about prep sports.

  7. We still watch the news….typically the 10:00 PM version. It’s kind of amusing actually when you realize that if you were to Tivo the 6 PM version, you might just as well just replay it at 10 PM. If there is a sentance worth of differenct in the news part anyway I’d be surprised. Part of the reason we Tivo the news anyway is that we can start watching it at 10:20 and only watch the news and the weather but of course the sports is in the middle and I refuse to waste my time on trivial things such as sports news so we just skip through that part.

    Oh…I guess the question was actually about Leno’s leadin. We love Jay Leno….but having him in prime time is definately going to hurt him. We prefer to watch other things during prime time…not Leno. Given that we have Tivo, we do record Leno and occasionally watch the monologue at the beginning…but that’s about it and that’s only once or twice a week.

  8. Leno sucks and he is ruining the financial well-being of these local news stations to stroke his own ego.

  9. The November ratings results will be in right before Christmas. Sometime between December 18th and December 23rd.

  10. This article is ridiculous. The writer clearly doesn’t know how TV ratings work in this market. The “update” is the only thing that redeems it, and even that is not fully correct. The next ratings period for the Duluth/Superior Market isn’t until November, yes. The actual results of the November book don’t arrive until late December. At that point, you can only begin to surmise and guess as to why ratings went up/down. There never is any concrete evidence as to why. It’s all a (slightly educated) guessing game.

    What really bothers me is the tone of the article. It cites a major city like Baltimore, and tries to equate it to Duluth. It also goes on to ignore areas where the “Leno Effect” actually helps the late news (Detroit, I believe). Then the article just throws a question out with no real back-up. It would be like me writing an article titled, “Does Peter Passi rape babies?” and then cite a report where another man named Peter raped a baby, so this man named Peter might also do the same.

    Idiocy. Very Glenn Beck-ish.

    Granted, the NNC does have its share of problems, and they really need to be addressed, but this piece strikes me as being more about kicking someone while it is down.

  11. I know why I don’t watch the local news here, well besides the idiotic moving of the news to the last part of the show. I don’t watch because it’s mainly filled with stories from the network. There isn’t much local or statewide news on the local channels. I get so much out of watching WCCO at the cabin all summer. They have a balance of metro news and news statewide. Stop with the canned news reports from the national NBC feed and work on local and state news.

  12. Can Michelle please stop the Kate Gosselin hair-dos or rather hair-DON’T. This one sided long thing reeks of red neck John and Kateness I can’t stand it. She’s so pretty, but her hair, ugh.

  13. I don’t think Jay Leno is hurting the Northland’s NewsCenter. It’s that everyone likes Dennis Anderson at WDIO-DT. Remember last fall, Jay Leno was making jokes about the crappy prime time shows on NBC.

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