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Honolulu TV stations claim wins and growth

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Honolulu’s network-affiliated television stations all experienced growth during the February 2011 Nielsen ratings survey from Feb. 3 through March 2, though not all at the same times of day and night.

"Once again, viewers have made Hawaii News Now No. 1," said News Director Mark Platte, in a statement.

A news release from KHON-TV made similar statements, using terms such as "undisputed leader," "highest-rated television station" and "most-watched, from sign-on to sign-off."

KITV President and General Manager Andrew Jackson spoke of "positive growth in key time periods" and of the station "trending in a positive direction."

The most popular weekday newscasts on all stations are at 6 and 10 p.m., and KHON retained its No. 1 spot at 6 p.m. as the only one with a double-digit rating, while KGMB-TV continued is ratings advances in the time slot.

KITV held relatively steady at 6 p.m., slipping by one share point.

KGMB retained its 10 p.m. news lead, bolstered by CBS network lead-in programming. KHON held steady, third-ranked KITV maintained its rating and share from the November Nielsens, while KHNL shed two share points.

KITV is the only station with an hourlong newscast at 10 p.m. as well as a morning newscast on the weekends.

The station garnered its "highest-ever rating at 10:30," for the second half-hour of the late news, Jackson said. "And we found now on Sunday mornings we have a sale-able demo point" for the morning news. "Those are the areas we were focusing on," said Jackson.

Local television has come a long way since the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts were the only so-called "money shows" and news departments only paid lip serv­ice to an on-air presence in the morning.

The stations have relatively large casts of characters for their morning broadcasts.

At KITV the "big story is in the mornings where we doubled our demo (dem­o­graphic) numbers. We’re in a dead heat. Now all three stations are doing twos in the demo" of adults 25 to 54, Jackson said.

Officials from both KHON and Hawaii News Now are claiming to have the No. 1 local newscast at 5 p.m., and both newscasts have an 8 rating, 22 share.

KHON’s newscasts are broadcast on one station, while Hawaii News Now’s 5 p.m. is broadcast on KGMB and sister station KHNL.

The show gets a 7/18 on KGMB and a 1/4 on KHNL. Taken individually, KGMB’s 5 p.m. numbers are up from a year ago and from the November ratings, while KHNL’s numbers dipped from a 3/7 a year ago and a 2/5 in November, despite airing the same content. KHON’s 8/22 is up from a 7/20 in November and a 7/19 last February.

The field of battle on which stations duke it out for viewer eyeballs and loyalty —and potential advertising revenue — has expanded beyond the TV screen to the World Wide Web where station websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts draw hits and fans and followers. Those numbers are closely watched by station executives for bragging rights. They could eventually generate revenue if the right business model is found.

The next Nielsen ratings period will run from April 28 through May 25.

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