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KCAL fires up ratings as Yule Log rules

Station offered three hour block for the first time this year

KCAL’s hunk-a, hunk-a burning wood was a hit with Angelenos on Christmas morning, winning its time period in key demos.

Borrowing an idea from New York station WPIX, Viacom-owned KCAL brought the Yule Log to Los Angeles for the first time this year, turning three hours early Saturday over to a flaming fireplace.

According to Nielsen estimates, the KCAL telecast (with holiday music simulcast on KOST-FM) won its 6-9 a.m. time period in both adults 18-49 (0.6 rating/7 share) and adults 25-54 (0.7/7), peaking with 10 shares during the final hour.

Overall, an average of 77,000 viewers watched the morning block, hosted by KCAL anchors Pat Harvey and David Jackson as well as KOST morning personalities Mark Wallengren and Kim Amidon. Stater Bros. Markets sponsored the commercial-free telecast.

In New York, the annual Yule Log telecast on WPIX, which benefited by airing in the later 8 a.m.-noon block on Christmas morning, averaged 275,156 viewers and also led its time period in key demos.

WPIX originated the Yule Log back in 1966, a creation of then general manager Fred Thrower. The fireplace came courtesy of Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the mayor of New York City.

After 23 years, the station scrapped the Yule Log telecast in 1989. But following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, WPIX brought the Yule Log back in time for Christmas of 2001, digitally remastering the film. Last year, the station also filmed it in high definition.

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