Dick Nourse went out a winner. And Michelle King went out a strong No. 2.

The longtime anchors at KSL and KUTV, respectively, retired after last Wednesday's newscasts. And last Wednesday, not coincidentally, was the last day of the November sweeps.

As has been the case for as long as anyone can remember, KSL-Ch. 5 finished first in the 10 p.m. news ratings. And KUTV-Ch. 2 finished a healthy second.

(The 10 p.m. news is by far the most important time slot for local TV stations. Some stations bring in more than half their revenue from that program alone.)

According to Nielsen Media Research, through the 28 days of the November sweeps, KSL averaged a 12.0 rating and a 22 share of the audience. That translates into an average of approximately 105,000 homes tuned in to each newscast.

(Each rating point represents 1 percent of the households in the Salt Lake TV market, and Nielsen puts the total number of households at 874,650. A share point represents 1 percent of the homes where someone is watching TV at a particular time.)

The Monday-Friday newscasts anchored by Nourse did even better — a 12.9 rating/23 share (approximately 113,000 homes).

KUTV-Ch. 2 finished second, as usual, with a 10.3 rating/19 share — representing an average of just under 91,000 homes.

The Monday-Friday newscasts anchored by King also did a bit better — 10.4 rating/20 share.

As has also become customary in recent years, the third-place late newscast didn't air at 10 p.m., it was KSTU's 9 p.m. show. Ch. 13 averaged a 6.6 rating/12 share (approximately 58,000 homes).

And KTVX-Ch. 4 continued to occupy fourth place with its 10 p.m. newscast, averaging a 5.2 rating/9 share (approximately 45,000 homes).

When the next sweeps period rolls around in February, it will be interesting to see how KSL does with Bruce Lindsay as its lead 10 p.m. anchorman, how KUTV does with Shauna Lake as its lead 10 p.m. anchorwoman; and what KTVX will do to try to crawl out of last place.

I'm not expecting to see much change at Ch. 2 or Ch. 5. And I haven't a clue what to expect out of Ch. 4.

CNN EMBARRASSED itself almost a year ago with a graphic gaffe. A graphic with a picture of Osama bin Laden that should have read "Where is Osama?" instead read "Where is Obama?"

Which inadvertently tied U.S. senator and presidential hopeful Barack Obama to terrorism.

Last Thursday, KUTV-Ch. 2 did the same thing in reverse. A graphic with the senator's face superimposed on Uncle Sam read "Osama wants Utah."

It's a relatively easy mistake, I suppose, but embarrassing nonetheless.


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