Media Scene

WSOC gains in news ratings as WCNC surges with NFL Thursday games

On a “Thursday Night Football” broadcast that raised the one-night rating of WCNC (Channel 36) more than 500 percent, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, right, hugs Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian in September after the Broncos defeated the Panthers 21-20.
On a “Thursday Night Football” broadcast that raised the one-night rating of WCNC (Channel 36) more than 500 percent, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, right, hugs Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian in September after the Broncos defeated the Panthers 21-20. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

WSOC (Channel 9) has made gains in most key newscasts against WBTV (Channel 3), which has been strongly challenging the longtime leader over the last year.

WSOC has retaken the lead in key newscasts at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. and WBTV remains the leader at 11 p.m.

WAXN (Channel 64) remains the No. 1 newscast in the three-way race at 10 p.m., but WJZY (Channel 46) for the first time since Fox Television launched its news department in 2014 has claimed the second spot among viewers of all demographics by a slim margin over WCCB (Channel 18).

WJZY’s strong performance in November sweeps was largely the result of two ratings juggarnauts: the World Series, featuring the Chicago Cubs, and the popular Fox series “Empire.”

WCNC (Channel 36), which has been trending upward sharply in the last year, has likewise gotten a huge boost from NBC’s “Thursday Night Football,” which has increased the ratings of the Thursday night late news by 247 percent.

WCNC has also seen a surge in female viewers in the advertiser-friendly 25-54 demographic for the 11 p.m. newscast, up 78 percent year-to-year.

In the 25-54 age demographic, the one that advertising sales are based on, WSOC leads at 6 p.m., WCCB leads at 10 p.m. and WSOC leads at 11 p.m. While WCNC runs third in the demographic at 11 p.m., it has seen a 93 percent increase at that hour versus a 21 percent decrease for WSOC and 10 percent drop for WBTV, which indicates the NBC affiliate is continuing to remain highly competitive after years of languishing deep in third place.

Charlotte news ratings

Here are the estimated number of viewers for key weekday newscasts in Charlotte during the most recent sweeps period in November and year-to-year percentage change as measured by Nielsen.

6 AM

WSOC

68,260

+15%

WBTV

60,700

-5%

WCNC

30,800

+11%

WCCB

9,800

+17%

WJZY

4,500

+91%

NOON

WSOC

61,000

-1%

WBTV

56,800

-13%

WCNC

22,900

+30%

6 PM

WSOC

127,000

+10%

WBTV

99,900

-3%

WCNC

47,300

+8%

WJZY

8,400

+98%

NATIONAL NEWSCASTS

ABC

149,500

+16%

CBS

90,200

-8%

NBC

68,300

-2%

10 PM

WAXN

33,000

-17%

WJZY

17,260

+21%

WCCB

17,200

-39%

11 PM

WBTV

80,700

+18%

WSOC

69,200

-15%

WCNC

52,000

+75%

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