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Young Broadcasting’s KCAL emerged as the sleeper success story of the local May sweep.

The news- and sports-oriented indie notched hefty ratings increases in its daytime and early fringe lineup. Compared to its showing in last year’s May book, KCAL moved from sixth to fifth place in the Monday-Sunday total day measure (7-1 a.m.). On a Monday-Friday total day basis, KCAL jumped from sixth to third place (in a near tie with Fox O&O KTTV) behind market leaders KNBC and KABC.

KCAL’s growth in May was driven by improved ratings for its midday and primetime newscasts and spikes in its daytime and early fringe Iineup. From 3-4 p.m., the combo of “Judge Judy” and KCAL’s 3:30 newscast was strong enough to narrowly edge out KNBC’s “Rosie O’Donnell” for second place in the timeslot behind KABC’s “Oprah Winfrey.”