Thursday, November 21, 2013

WSOC to expand 10 p.m. newscast to an hour

Beginning Dec. 2, WSOC (Channel 9) will expand its 10 p.m. newscast on sister station WAXN (Channel 64) to an hour.

Natalie Pasquarella

Natalie Pasquarella will continue as sole anchor with meteorologist Steve Udelson

News director Julie Szulczewski said Thursday the expansion was not driven by competition with Fox-owned WJZY (Channel 46), which is planning to launch an hour-long 10 p.m. newscast in January. Construction is under way at WJZY for a new studio and a news staff is being hired. WJZY now carries a 30-minute newscast at 10 p.m. provided by WBTV (Channel 3) and anchored by Molly Grantham.

Szulczewski said station research conducted in the spring of this year indicated there would be an audience and desire for an expanded newscast. Executives have been talking about it since March but were waiting until other projects were finished, like the months-long renovation of the station's newsroom, which is now complete.

There will be no change in format for the show, she said. On weekends, the 10 p.m. newscast will continue with its half-hour length. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Panthers soar in ratings on Monday Night Football

Nearly 650,000 viewers in the region tuned in for Monday night's Panthers game against New England, making it the most-watched game of the season in Charlotte.

"This absolutely crushed any previous regular season game this year," Robert Wendt, research director for WSOC (Channel 9), said Tuesday.

Final overnight ratings from Nielsen showed that in the Charlotte market, 348,000 people on average watched the game on Channel 9 and 309,000 on ESPN.

By comparison, the previously most-watched game to date this season, the Nov. 10 Panthers-49ers match-up, attracted 456,000 viewers.

Nielsen numbers show that 66 percent of household televisions in the 22-county Charlotte market -- which stretches from the Virginia line to Chester, S.C. -- were tuned to the Monday night game.

It was the first time since 2008 the Panthers appeared at home on "Monday Night Football."

Peak viewing came during the last half of the second quarter, about 9:30 p.m., when the Panthers were up by 7, Wendt said.   

ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer said Nielsen data showed that 38 percent of people with televisions in the Charlotte region watched the game and 36 percent in New England.

Elsewhere in the Carolinas, 23 percent of all viewers in Greensboro tuned into the game, 17 percent in Greenville, N.C., and 15 percent in Raleigh-Durham.

Here are TV audience figures for earlier Panther games in Charlotte this season, on Fox (WJZY, Channel 46):

Sept. 8: Vs. Seahawks (1 p.m. game) -- 374,000.
Sept. 15: Vs. Bills (1 p.m.) -- 316,000.
Sept. 22: Vs. Giants (1 p.m.) -- 382,000.
Oct. 6: Vs. Cardinals (4 p.m.) -- 312,000.
Oct. 13: Vs. Vikings (1 p.m.) -- 424,000.
Oct. 20: Vs. Rams (1 p.m.) -- 403,000.
Oct. 24: Vs. Tampa (8:30 p.m., Thursday) -- 287,000.*
Nov. 3: Vs. Falcons (1 p.m.) -- 407,000.
Nov. 10: Vs. 49ers (4 p.m.) -- 456,000. 

*Carried on the NFL Network and WMYT (Channel 55).