Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Weather Affects Ratings of Local TV Newscasts Viewership Mostly Down during Sweeps Period

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Weather Affects Ratings of Local TV Newscasts Viewership Mostly Down during Sweeps Period

Article excerpt

Readers often ask: "Why do the local TV newscasts devote so much time to the weather?"

Look no further than the latest Nielsen ratings. The latest sweeps period ran Oct. 29-Nov. 25 and showed a marked decline in viewership almost across the board. There were a few exceptions; KDKA increased its ratings lead at noon, with a household rating of 8.1 compared with 7.2 of a year ago.

Match that with weather service figures for temps and snow totals during that same period in 2014 and there's the big snowless picture. Early November 2015 featured a string of 77-78-77-71-degree days. Only on Nov. 23, when the high was 38 degrees, did the Pittsburgh region even dip below average.

"Weather is a driver in this market," said Mike Oliveira, WPXI news director. "When there's no snow and no storms that could affect Thanksgiving travel, you may have fewer people tuning in to television than you might otherwise. You also have people out there enjoying the last few days of fall. …

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