While CBS the network delivers some of its best programming in years, its two South Florida affiliates were spanked in the all-important November ratings period, according to audience studies.
A historic low: 0.39 percent of Miami/Fort Lauderdale households with a television are tuned in to CBS4 weekdays at 6 a.m., and 0.75 percent at 11 p.m.
Repeat: ZERO percent and crumbs!
The bad news comes in the wake of the Gossip Extra scoop that CBS headquarters in New York City ordered an investigation into the work condition and management style at CBS4 Miami, which the network owns and operates.
One bright spot for the embattled station: The noon show fronted by veteran Eliott Rodriguez won its time slot!
CBS12 in West Palm Beach, owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, is dead last in the race for local news viewers — except at noon, when it’s second to WPTV-Channel 5 by a hair.
Curt Fonger, an anchorman in West Palm for 25 years who’s now in the real estate business, said the two stations are victims of CBS’ reputation as a magnet for older audiences.
“Traditionally, CBS has skewed old. That hurts the 11 p.m. news,” Fonger said, “since older people go to be early.”
Still, in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, nearly four times more people watched NBC affiliate WPTV’s newscasts than CBS12, according to the November numbers, and more than twice second place WPLG-Channel 25 and CBS12 COMBINED!
Down south, the hyperventilating newscasts of the Fox affiliate WSVN-Channel 7 make the station the undisputed champion, except at 11 p.m. That’s the weather-heavy ABC affiliate WPLG-Channel 10’s winning newscast.
All in all, however, local news continues to lose viewers to cable and Internet-based programming.
“It’s an absolute struggle for local newscasts that cover a wide area to present material that affects directly the person sitting in her living room,” former anchorman Fonger said. “Without a hurricane this season, there was no must-see TV.”