Oh, Oprah! WESH pulls ahead of WFTV at 5 p.m.

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The folks at WFTV are missing Oprah right now. In the just completed July ratings, WESH 2 News finished ahead of Channel 9’s Eyewitness News at 5 p.m. in the 25-54 demo.

For years, WFTV’s 5 o’clock news benefited from following the Oprah Winfrey Show. But Oprah’s show is over — and so is the Casey Anthony trial — creating a new early news race for viewers. According to the Orlando Sentinel,  WESH averaged 27,600 viewers at 5 p.m. to  WFTV’s 27,200 in the 25-54 demographic. WOFL’s Fox 35 News averaged 15,300 while WKMG’s Local 6 News had  8,200.

WESH also finished No. 1 in the demo at 11 p.m. Still, when using total viewers, WFTV won all newscasts.

But anytime WFTV doesn’t win a news time period, it is news.  And if you think not finishing No. 1 in the demo isn’t important to Channel 9, think again. Did you see the last-minute push WFTV rolled out — using a cash stunt to get viewers to watch the last 5 minutes of Oprah (which, leads into Eyewitness News)? If WESH remains strong at 5 p.m., look for more cash giveaways from Central Florida’s News Leader.

Read the full Orlando Sentinel story here.

About Roger Simmons 549 Articles
Roger Simmons has been blogging about Orlando television since 2001. You can email him at roger@rogersimmons.com