KCBS News cleans up

Restaurant reports fuel ratings surge at 11 p.m.

What was designed to be a two-part series on safety and cleanliness violations at L.A. County’s 20,000 restaurants on Nov. 16 and 17 has turned into a monster for KCBS news in both ratings and longevity.

Since the initial two-nighter aired, KCBS has milked and remilked the initial series with daily installments —often several each day, with the story generally leading off each newscast.

The restaurant story has proved such a viewer lightning rod that the station found itself a mere tenth of a point behind KABC (6.9 to 6.8) in the overall November sweeps ratings race at 11 p.m. prior to Monday night. The book ends Wednesday.

No KCBS newscast has finished as high as second in the market during sweeps in three years. But the station is clearly building momentum. Sunday night’s 11 o’clock newscast pulled a whopping 14.0 rating/31 share, the second time in two weeks that KCBS had delivered its highest 11 p.m. ratings in 10 years.

The 14.0/31 figures, boosted by a 19.9/29 local performance by the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” film “What the Deaf Man Heard,” was enough for KCBS to upend the combined audiences tuned at 11 to KABC (5.7/13) and KNBC (5.5/14).

KCBS is likewise poised to be honored this morning for the ongoing restaurant untidiness series with a proclamation by the Los Angeles City Council.

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