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Holiday yule log heats up in L.A.

Annual Christmas broadcast up 39% this year

Los Angeles TV viewers, still recovering from last week’s rain, gathered ’round the yule log as they dried off on Christmas morning.

Combined, KCAL and KTLA averaged 212,000 viewers for their dueling yule logs from 6 to 10 a.m. on Christmas Day. That was up 39% vs. the same four-hour block last year (when the two stations averaged 153,000 during the timeframe).

The big gain came via KTLA, which averaged 104,000 viewers from 6 to 10 a.m., up a strong 160% from last year.

KTLA, which simulcast Christmas music from Clear Channel’s KOST-FM (103.5), aired the log from 4:30 to 10 a.m., averaging 78,000 through the entire 5 1/2-hour block.

KCAL, now in its seventh year of airing the yule log, accompanied the broadcast with Christmas music from sister CBS Radio AC station KTWV (94.7). The station averaged 108,000 viewers (down 4% from last year).

The yule log tradition, which began on New York’s WPIX-TV in the 1960s (utilizing the actual fireplace from Gotham’s Gracie Mansion), has experienced a rebirth in recent years as stations rediscover the gimmick (even adding high-definition versions).

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