Telemundo's Los Angeles O&O aggressively expanded its news coverage to 14.5 hours weekly beginning January 15th. Its nearly 10 weeks later and the results have been surprising.
Not only did KVEA expand to new time periods with their local news coverage (weekday early AM, mid-day, weekend evening and late night newscasts all began in January), the station gave a new look to their existing weekday evening and late newscasts (6pm and 11pm), including new co-anchors Lucía Navarro and Vicente Calderón.
This time last year, there were 10 daily newscasts aired throughout the day in Spanish among the local broadcasters between 6am and midnight. KVEA's 2 newscasts at 6 and 11pm represented 12.6% of the gross rating points distributed among the newscasts.
A year later and 2 additional newscasts later, KVEA's portion of the news GRPs is up 75% to 22.1% of the total GRPs in weekday news. Now at 14 daily newscasts (KRCA also added a 5pm newscast since last March), the Los Angeles market hasn't grown in total news viewers, in fact the weekday GRPs have declined 1.5 points year-to-year. The audience has shifted.
So where did the added KVEA news viewers come from if they're not new viewers to news? Results of the March survey through the 2nd week show that at least one competitor to KVEA in each of the news time periods lost a portion of their audience.
In the early evening news race (there are 5 airing between 4:30pm and 7:30pm), total GRPs in this time period are static from last March (34.0 GRPs last year, 34.2 GRPs in March 2001). KVEA added 2 rating points, the largest gain at 43% over last March, and KRCA's newscast at 5pm got a 1.7 (new to the time period). Combined, an additional 3.7 rating points to early evening news. KMEX's 6pm newscast dropped 2.4 rating points (a loss of 13% from last March), KWHY's 4:30pm news lost 0.5 points year-to-year, and KWHY's 7pm newscast lost 0.6 points (an 8% decline). KMEX's and KWHY's losses total 3.5 rating points to KVEA's and KRCA's additional 3.7 points.
"In television news, a lot of emphasis is placed on the anchor team," Says Vicente Calderón, co-anchor of the 6pm and 11pm newscast. "But here, it's the entire team that works together to put the best product on the air, and I think it shows."
According to Calderón, more time is spent daily discussing every story that is aired in an effort to improve the newscast as much as possible. "We want to give attention to not only how the newscast looks, but to how and what we are telling the viewers," He adds.
KVEA has more reasons to than added viewers at 6pm and 11pm to feel as though the news audience is switching their way. Buenos Dias LA, the new early morning newscast that debuted January 15th at 6am, has trended up each of the last 5 weeks and is up 250% over last year's time period. A 5 share of viewing to early Spanish news in week one has climbed to a 16 share in the first two weeks of March.
At 11:30am, al Mediodia was Hispanic LA's #1 mid-day newscast in February, its 1st full month of ratings under its belt. al Mediodia was rated higher than any newscast airing between 11am and 2pm on any station in the market among Hispanics.
On the weekends, KVEA's 6pm and 11pm newscasts have added points to news, whether or not the only other station with weekend newscasts (KMEX) went up or down.
On Saturdays at 6pm, the total GRPs to news jumped 28%, as KVEA's newscast not only added news points, but also is up from the time period last year. The same is true of the 11pm newscast, a 41% jump in news ratings, and KVEA is up from the time period last year.
Sundays at 6pm saw an additional 3.8 points to ratings as KVEA's newscast got a 24 share of the news viewers. At 11pm on Sundays, KVEA managed to more than double its rating for the time period a year ago, and offset the ratings loss on KMEX to help the total news viewership increase by 43% over last year.
The success of the launch and the new KVEA news viewers correspond to a general shift in audience throughout the day and week for the Telemundo O&O, as their overall share of viewing has risen 5 share points year-to-year through the first two weeks of March.
All ratings quoted are Los Angeles NHSI TV Households. All shares are shares of Spanish broadcast television viewing.