March 13, 2006

Average Early Evening Local News Share by Market Size

Markets 1-25 Markets 26-50 Markets 51-100 Markets 101-150 Markets 151+ All Markets
May 1997 14.8 17.6 19.1 20 23.7 19.4
May 1998 14.1 16.8 18.5 20.1 23.4 19
May 1999 13.6 15.8 18.5 19.7 23 18.6
May 2000 12.9 15.1 17.1 18.3 21.7 17.4
May 2001 12.4 14.3 16.3 17.9 20.7 16.8
May 2002 11.6 13.8 15.9 17.4 20.5 16.3
May 2003 11.4 13.8 15.8 16.9 20.5 16.1
May 2004 11 13.4 15.7 16.8 20.5 15.9
May 2005 10.9 12.9 15.6 16.7 19.6 15.7

Of those households watching TV around the dinner hour, the percentage tuned to local news is dropping. Between 1997 and 2005, that percentage–what TV people call “share”–fell across all market sizes. Not only are fewer people home to watch TV at 6 p.m., but of those who have the TV on, more are choosing to watch something else.