‘Probe puts KCBS News first for 4th time in 11 p.m. slot

Powered by primetime spillover from the three-night ratings windfall of the mob miniseries “The Last Don” and a much-talked-about two-part investigation into corruption in the DMV, perpetual third-place finisher KCBS took the top spot in the ratings at 11 p.m. for the fourth consecutive night on Wednesday.

The last time the station won four straight nights at 11 came in February 1994, during its coverage of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.

However, one has to go clear back to October 1983 to find a four-night win streak for the station at 11 o’clock coming out of non-Olympic programming. That was 14-1/2 years ago.

A key factor in KCBS’ sweeps-time ratings resurgence was clearly “Last Don’s” performance in Los Angeles. It won all three nights with a combined average of 17.4 rating/26 share. While the station failed to retain the entire audience, it nonetheless did extremely well, peaking Wednesday night with a 12.7/26.

The newscast also won on Sunday (9.5/22), Monday (7.8/17) and Tuesday (11.3/22). The KCBS website, “Channel 2000,” likewise had a record 90,000 hits between Sunday and Wednesday nights, many of those responding to the station’s undercover report of fraud at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles that ran Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

KCBS VP and G.M. John Culliton boasted Thursday, “As a direct result of our I-team reports about the DMV scam involving the sale of illegal licenses, Gov. Wilson has called for an aggressive investigation, the California Highway Patrol has searched the DMV offices in question and additional felony charges against some state workers are expected.”

Even with the four-night Juggernaut, KCBS remains in third for the May sweeps to date at 11 p.m. with a 6.9/14 average. NBC is first with 8.6/17, while ABC is next at 7.8/16.

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