The scores are based on live numbers as well as same-day DVR viewing for the Monday-Friday 10 p.m. newscasts on Channels 2, 4 and 5 and the 9 p.m. newscast on Channel 13.
"It's never old hat, but it's been a pretty consistent trend that we like," said Kent Crawford, KUTV's vice president and general manager. "Clearly, Utahns like what they see on KUTV. We all cover a lot of the same stories, but our experienced talent and our delivery style is resonating with viewers."
At second-place KSL, they're looking at the glass as half full.
"We had good momentum in May and are the only station with late-news share growth book to book," said Tanya Vea, KSL's executive vice president of news and cross-platform development. She also noted that Channel 5 extended its lead over KSTU-Channel 13 in late news when compared to February 2013.
KSTU also found a positive trend: when Saturdays and Sundays are averaged in, Channel 13 is the only local station to see its share of the late-news audience rise. It's up 4 percent; Channel 4 is unchanged; Channel 2 is down 1 percent; and Channel 5 is down 10 percent year-to-year.
A rating point, which represents $1 million in ad revenue, is 1 percent of the 917,370 TV-equipped homes Nielsen estimates are in the Salt Lake market; a share point is 1 percent of those homes where someone is actually watching TV at a given time.
In February, Channel 5 barely held on to second place late news, beating Channel 13 by one-tenth of a rating point; that lead was 1.5 points in May.
The more meaningful comparison, however, is May 2012-May 2013. KSL is down 15 percent from one year ago and 27 percent from two years ago and station management is hoping May's numbers are an indication their ratings slide has bottomed out.
Channel 5 is not alone as ratings for all late local newscasts continues to shrink. Year to year, Channel 2 and Channel 13 are both down 7 percent; Channel 4 is down 5 percent.
It's worth pointing out that more viewers are watching local news than the network programming that precedes them. Three of the four local newscast out-perform their networks Channel 2 by 49 percent; Channel 13 by 33 percent; and Channel 5 by 30 percent. ABC's Monday-Friday prime time lineup attracted 30 percent more viewers than Channel 4's 10 p.m. news.
At KTVX, which finished sweeps battling a flood from a broken sprinkler in its news studio, leaders are hoping they've positioned themselves to reverse their long ratings slide. Channel 4's late news was up one-tenth of a rating point from February, and down just two-tenths of a point from May 2012.
For 5 p.m. newscasts, there was a major battle among local TV news stations that came down to the final day of the May Sweeps. KUTV pulled out a narrow victory with a 3.8 rating to KSL's 3.7. KTVX (1.6) edged KSTU (1.4) for third.
Channel 2 also finished first in early-morning news; in midday news; at 4:30 p.m.; and at 5:30 p.m.
In the 4 p.m. slot, Channel 4 is the only local station to beat Channel 2 in a head-to-head local news battle. KTVX (2.0) edged KUTV (1.9)
These results from the April 25-May 22 ratings period are households only. The results from the advertiser-friendly demographics won't be available for several weeks.
Local TV ratings May 2013
In the Monday-Friday late-news ratings, KUTV-Ch. 2 averaged approximately 103,700 homes to KSL-Ch. 5's 63,300. KSTU-Ch. 13 was third with 52,300; KTVX-Ch. 4 averaged 31,200.