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(TOLEDO) – The following article is from The Blade published March 30, 2018:

The TV viewing preferences of Toledo residents are much like their political preferences: Neither tends to change.

WTVG-TV, Channel 13, has been the overall top-rated news station in northwest Ohio for several years, and the Nielsen numbers for February did nothing to end that ratings reign.

Channel 13 was No. 1 among total viewership for all but one of its newscasts in February’s sweeps. And that exception, the noon newscast, was a tie with WTOL-TV, Channel 11, which has maintained an equal position on as the second most-watched news station in town.

Channel 13, an ABC affiliate, was dominant in the mornings among all viewers, what Nielsen calls the 2-plus, with an average of 19,500 tuning in between 5 and 6, and 45,000 from 6 to 7, compared to 9,000 and 20,000 viewers of all ages watching the Channel 11 newscasts at those same times. WNWO-TV, Channel 24, which has a half-hour newscast beginning at 6:30 a.m., was watched by an average of 4,000 total viewers.

 WTVG and WTOL were each watched by an average 2-plus viewership of 43,000 at noon. (WTVG’s broadcast is actually from noon to 1 p.m., but Nielsen does not make a distinction between that station’s hourlong newscast and WTOL’s half-hour newscast.)

From 5 to 6 p.m., 51,500 total viewers watched Channel 13 and 36,500 tuned in to Channel 11.

The half-hour newscast from 6 to 6:30 p.m., the most watched overall, is actually a three-way ratings race, in which WTVG bested the competition. The station was watched by an average of 89,000, compared to 55,000 for WTOL and 9,000 for WNWO.

The ratings numbers were closer for the 11 p.m. half-hour newscast: an average of 46,000 total viewers watched 13, 36,000 watched 11, and 15,000 watched 24.

WTOL also has an hourlong 9 a.m. weekday newscast that doesn’t compete against other local news broadcasts, and was watched by an average of 18,000 viewers.

It’s worth noting that this is the first TV ratings reported in The Blade since Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns WNWO, Toledo’s NBC affiliate, gutted the station’s newsroom and outsourced its on-air anchors to a hub station in South Bend. WNWO broadcasts only three newscasts each weekday.

 Fox affiliate WUPW-TV, Channel 36, which shares its newsroom and staff with WTOL, has three newscasts, none of which compete against other local news. From 7 to 8 a.m., 6,000 total viewers watched Channel 36, and 10,000 from 8 to 9 a.m. The station’s 6:30 half-hour newscast was watched by 4,000 total viewers and its hourlong 10 p.m. news was watched by 17,000 total area viewers.

Diving a bit deeper into the ratings numbers to the 25-54 age group, the most important demographic for advertisers, and the ratings race is more competitive.

WTOL won the noon newscast in the 25-54 age demographic with an average of 12,000 viewers compared to the 8,000 in the same demographic watching WTVG’s newscast. Channel 11 also won the 11 p.m. newscast among the same age group with 12,000 viewers watching. Channel 13 was in second place in the same demo, 10,000 viewers, and Channel 24 was in third place, 6,000 viewers.

Channel 13 handily won the mornings in the same demographic, though, with an average viewership of 8,500 from 5 to 6, and 15,000 from 6 to 7. Channel 11 trailed with an average of 4,500 viewers and 6,500 viewers in the same 25-54 demographic during those same newscasts, and WNWO was watched by 2,000 viewers for its 6 a.m. half-hour newscast.