KGMB ties with KHON in 10 p.m. ratings
Even though KGMB eked out a small ratings tie over long-standing news leader KHON in the November ratings period, the moment must have been bittersweet for Emmis Communications Corp. Emmis not only owns both stations, it's in the midst of selling both stations.
In the 10 p.m. news slot, KGMB gathered a 9 rating and a 21 share, while KHON's Joe Moore broadcast scored a 9/22 -- a dead heat for viewers. KITV scored 6/14 and KHNL scored 5/12 in November's 10 p.m. slot.
A rating point is approximately 1 percent of the total population, while share is the percentage of households actually watching television when a particular show is on. Such ratings are directly tied to advertising rates.
For the past five years Emmis has enjoyed a rare federally sanctioned "duopoly" in Hawaii, owning two competing stations while amortizing operation costs. Two months ago the company announced a $259 million sale of KHON and three mainland sister stations to New York investment firm Blackstone Group and SJL Broadcast Group of California.
"We're still running both stations," said General Manager Rick Blangiardi, who a month ago was assigned to oversee only KHON. "The sale isn't final yet."
Despite continual slippage in overall share -- there's a lot more competition from basic cable than there used to be -- KHON's newscast continues to dominate.
In the most-watched local-news slot at 6 p.m., KHON was 13/29, KGMB was 6/15, KITV was 5/12 and KHNL was 4/8. Although KHON was at the top of the 5 p.m. daily newscast with a 6/19, KITV made a strong showing with a 5/17, beating out KGMB and KHNL.
Since the last ratings period in May, however, all local newscasts have slipped in share except for KITV, which has recovered ground. "Basically, this last book is great for KGMB and for KITV, but absolutely horrible for KHON," said a happy Mike Rosenberg, general manager for KITV. "KHON is losing major numbers, down in every newscast."
"All along we've put effort to improve the quality of both stations but great strides were made with KGMB," Blangiardi said. "But let's put this in perspective -- KHON is still very dominant. We're talking one demo point at 10 p.m.! KGMB has gained some traction in the news marketplace and (they) have steadily improved their core issue, and they've also benefited from a very strong CBS lineup."
Rosenberg allowed that local newscasts don't dominate the market the way they used to, and that Hawaii is now being divided by four local television stations instead of three, but the latest round of ratings indicate the playing field is being leveled. "We've got a real horse race here."
One thing hasn't changed -- KHON can still claim the pole position.
"You know, when I started here in the television business in 1977, KGMB was the dominant station," said Blangiardi. "In the past 30 years, only two stations have mattered in this market, and they are KGMB and KHON."