War of words over accuracy of KTTV's numbers

HOLLYWOOD — Forget about the late news: The real game-changing local race this November sweeps took place in the morning.

KTTV’s saucy “Good Day L.A.” breakfastcast scored a 3.4 rating and 12 share, landing above KTLA’s “Morning News” program (3.3/11) for the first time ever as the top locally produced ayemer.

“Good Day L.A.” was up a whopping 42% over last year while 4 “Morning News” dropped 3%.

In another major shift, KNBC’s “Today” took the overall lead in the slot, averaging a 4.2/14, up 27% from last November. KABC’s “Good Morning America,” which traditionally beats “Today” in the Southland, settled for a 3.5 rating/12 share, down 8%.

The battle between Fox-owned KTTV and Tribune-owned KTLA spilled into 10 p.m., where the former regained the news crown (3.7/6, down 5%) from traditional leader KTLA (3.3/5, down 30%).

Too close to call

While a war of words erupted between the two stations over the accuracy of KTTV’s figures — the Fox station excluded many quarter-hours from its tally because of special reports — the battle between KCOP and KCAL at 10 also turned fierce.

Most ratings reports give KCOP a slight edge over KCAL, 2.6/4 vs. 2.4/4. Some results, however, had placed them at a tie — 2.6/4. Regardless of the official outcome, the news was good for KCOP, which improved its performance under recently hired news director Larry Perret by 30%.

The news races at 4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m. went unchanged from November 1999. KABC, bolstered by the continued success of “Oprah Winfrey” as its news lead-in, took the 4, 5, and 6 races; KNBC remained on top at 11.

KCBS, which dropped its “Women 2 Women” broadcast at 4 p.m. in favor of “Judge Judy,” was rewarded with 31% growth in the hour; the station also saw respectable gains of 16% at 11 p.m., averaging a 4.4 rating/9 share. That still was far behind KNBC’s 8.2/17 and KABC’s 6.6/14.

Also at 11, KMEX’s noticias took a 17% climb to a 3.5/7, while KVEA made a muy bien jump to 1.1/2, up 120%.

Prime competition

As for primetime, the race was tight, and all English-lingo outlets ended up down year to year: KNBC squeaked out a 9.2/14 (down 3%), slightly beating last November’s leader, KABC’s 9.1/14 (down 15%). KTTV and KCBS tied at 6.9/10 (down 10% for KCBS, down 7% for KTTV), while KTLA scored a 5.2/8 (down 7%), followed by KCOP (3.2/5, down 9%) and KCAL (2.2/3, down 19%).

The Spanish-language outlets fared better, with KMEX averaging a 5.7/9 (up 27%) and KVEA averaging a 2.1 (up 163%).

KTTV pulled off the prime fringe shocker of November sweeps, “The Simpsons” jumped 56% to win at 7:30 p.m. with a 7.5 rating/12 share– even beating KABC’s “Wheel of Fortune,” the usual winner, which sunk 26% to 7.3.

Sign on to sign off, KABC leads with a 5.0 rating/12 share (down 7%), followed by KNBC (4.5/11, down 2%), KTTV (3.3/8, down 3%), KCBS and KTLA (tie, 2.8/7, with KCBS down 3% and KTLA down 15%), KMEX (2.7/6, up 17%), KCOP (1.9/5, down 10%), KCAL (1.6/4, down 20%), KCET (1.3/3, flat), KVEA (1.1/3, up 57%), KWHY (0.6/1, flat), KPXN (0.3/1, down 25%) and KRCA (0.1/0, flat).

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