Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, March 24, 1999

KHON news
still No. 1

By Tim Ryan


In the just-released February sweeps, Fox affiliate KHON continues to dominate Hawaii news ratings with its two weekday newscasts at 6 and 10 p.m.

Joe Moore and company pulled a 17 rating/35 share at 6 p.m., slightly down from the same ratings period last year's 16/33. The station got a 13/28 ratings/share at 10 p.m., up from February 1998's 12/25.

Meanwhile, ABC affiliate KITV-4 remained firmly in second place in both nightly time slots with a 9 rating/17 share at 6 p.m., and a 10/20 at 10 p.m.

CBS affiliate KGMB was third in both time slots with a 7/13 and 7/16 ratings/share, respectively far ahead of NBC's KHNL with a 3/7 and 6/14 ratings/share at 6 and 10 p.m.

KITV took the 5 p.m. news race with a 9/23 rating/share, far distancing KGMB, 5/14; and KHNL's 2/6. KHON broadcasts the "Jeopardy" game show at 5 p.m. which had a 9/24 rating/share.

One bright spot for KHNL is its first place finish in the weekday 7-10 p.m. prime-time slot with a 10/17 rating/share, followed by KGMB-9 and KITV-4 both with 9/15, and KHON, 8/14. (FOX prime times weekdays is 7-9 p.m.)

KHON took the morning news race with a 5 rating/28 share followed by KITV's 2/15; KHNL, 2/12; and KGMB, 1/5.

In the Monday-Sunday prime-time race -- Monday-Saturday, 7-10 p.m., and Sunday, 6-10 p.m. -- KGMB took top honors with a 10/17; KHON, 9/15; KHNL, 9/15; and KITV, 8/14.

The ratings were conducted among Hawaii households in February. Ratings are done three times a year: February, May, and November.

One ratings point represents 1 percent of about 380,000 television households; share is the percentage of television sets in use at any one time that are turned to a particular broadcast.

In January KHON and KITV began starting their 10 p.m. newscasts on time rather than inserting extra commercials in prime-time programs, forcing newscasts to start several late.

Kent Baker, KHON's vice president-general manager, is pleased with the station's 10 p.m. news showing, considering the station's new on-time start time. But the bottom line, he said, is that "Hawaii viewers continue to watch their favorite, most consistent news station."

"People believe they get a good overview of the news at KHON from someone they trust," Baker said. We aren't flashy, just solid."

KITV's general manager Mike Rosenberg says it's more than coincidence that the two on-time stations -- KITV and KHON -- both increased in "the most important ratings'" categories.

" 'Seinfeld' after our late news has done its best numbers in a year and I think it has something to do with it being on time," Rosenberg said.

But John Fink, KHNL president-general manager, says it's too soon to judge the success of on-time starting.

"We didn't expect to see much change right away and there wasn't," he said. "(KHNL) is encouraged by the progress of its news, but not thrilled by how long it's taking to attract an audience ... This market changes very slowly."

Fink also said KHON's Moore's popularity is waning.

"Four years ago Joe Moore at 10 p.m. was pulling a 20 rating, now it's a 13," he said. "While it's a slow change it's still starting to happen. People are starting to see there are other horses in the race."

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