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A Look At Chicago's Local TV Morning Shows

Almost all of Chicago's local television stations have been airing local programming, focusing on news, information and entertainment looking to grab as much of the local viewing audience as possible. Some of the shows have been doing this for years, while others only a short time. This is a snapshot look at how some of the stations and programs have been faring lately.

Looking for an average day to judge how the local shows have been doing, Thursday April 7th was selected. This past Thursday, this is how the local early morning programs did...

In the last year, WBBM-TV, WFLD-TV, WGN-TV and WLS-TV, joined WMAQ-TV with a 4:30am live newscast. On Thursday, the ratings for these stations' 4:30am-5:00am newscasts looked like this:

All ages ratings:
WMAQ-TV - 1.5 rating / 10 share
WLS-TV - 1.1 rating / 8 share
WGN-TV - 0.7 rating / 5 share
WBBM-TV - 0.3 rating / 2 share
WFLD-TV - 0.3 rating / 2 share
Non-news programming (for comparison's sake):
WCIU-TV - 0.3 rating / 2 share (rerun of the syndicated "Martin" sitcom)
WPWR-TV - 0.0 rating / 0 share (rerun of the syndicated "MASH" sitcom)

25-54 ratings:
WMAQ-TV - 0.6 rating / 9 share
WFLD-TV - 0.5 rating / 6 share
WLS-TV - 0.4 rating / 6 share
WGN-TV - 0.2 rating / 3 share
WBBM-TV - 0.2 rating / 2 share
Non-news programming (for comparison's sake):
WCIU-TV - 0.3 rating / 4 share (rerun of the syndicated "Martin" sitcom)
WPWR-TV - 0.0 rating / 0 share (rerun of the syndicated "MASH" sitcom)

From 5:00am-6:00am, viewership begins to pick up, with each quarter hour being higher than the one before it:

All ages ratings:
WLS-TV - 2.1 rating / 13 share
WMAQ-TV - 2.0 rating / 13 share
WGN-TV - 1.1 rating / 7 share
WFLD-TV - 0.7 rating / 5 share
WBBM-TV - 0.5 rating / 3 share

25-54 ratings:
WMAQ-TV - 1.2 rating / 13 share
WLS-TV - 0.9 rating / 9 share
WFLD-TV - 0.8 rating / 9 share
WGN-TV - 0.5 rating / 6 share
WBBM-TV - 0.2 rating / 2 share

At 6:00am, 7:00am & 8:00, WCIU-TV goes live & local with the 30-minute show "You and Me This Morning." Each hour contains 30 minutes of local programming, along with 30 minutes of a syndicated sitcom rerun. Here is how the ratings looked from 6:00am-7:00am:

All ages ratings:
WLS-TV - 3.5 rating / 15 share
WGN-TV - 3.1 rating / 14 share
WMAQ-TV - 2.8 rating / 12 share
WFLD-TV - 1.3 rating / 6 share
WCIU-TV - 0.8 rating / 4 share
WBBM-TV - 0.5 rating / 2 share

25-54 ratings:
WMAQ-TV - 2.1 rating / 15 share
WGN-TV - 1.7 rating / 13 share
WLS-TV - 1.2 rating / 9 share
WFLD-TV - 0.9 rating / 7 share
WCIU-TV - 0.6 rating / 5 share
WBBM-TV - 0.3 rating / 2 share

From 7:00am-8:00am, WBBM-TV, WLS-TV and WMAQ-TV begin airing national programming, while WGN-TV and WFLD-TV stay local and WCIU-TV stays semi-local. Here is how the local ratings looked:

All ages ratings:
WGN-TV - 3.9 rating / 14 share
WFLD-TV - 1.2 rating / 4 share
WCIU-TV - 0.5 rating / 2 share

25-54 ratings:
WGN-TV - 2.7 rating / 17 share
WFLD-TV - 1.1 rating / 7 share
WCIU-TV - 0.3 rating / 2 share

From 8:00am-9:00am, here is how the local ratings looked:

All ages ratings:
WGN-TV - 3.3 rating / 12 share
WFLD-TV - 1.0 rating / 4 share
WCIU-TV - 0.4 rating / 1 share

25-54 ratings:
WGN-TV - 2.3 rating / 16 share
WFLD-TV - 0.3 rating / 2 share
WCIU-TV - 0.2 rating / 1 share

From 9:00am-10:00am, only WFLD-TV continues to have local programming.

All ages ratings:
WFLD-TV - 0.5 rating / 2 share

25-54 ratings:
WFLD-TV - 0.0 rating / 0 share

While these ratings are only a one day snapshot and not a full month or full quarter of ratings, there are very close to what the monthly ratings show. WLS-TV, WMAQ-TV and WGN-TV have extremely strong morning news programs, that each have large audiences. WBBM-TV and WFLD-TV have extremely weak morning news shows that cannot seem to find an audience. While not a news show, the highly under-rated and under-appreciated WCIU-TV local programming still has a way to go before catching on. Perhaps going even more local and dropping the lowly rated syndicated programming like "The Insider" would help their cause. ("The Insider" loses three-fourths of the audience of the local show when it comes on.)


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