Dear Friends,

I have always observed our local television media very closely, often monitoring which stories are reported and how they are reported. Today I am sharing with you the latest Comscore ratings for all El Paso primetime newscasts for the weeks of March 14-18 and April 11-15 (the last week for which statistics are available). Comscore is one of the most respected media measurement and analytics companies in the United States. Below is my analysis of the average audience for the newscasts of our six local television networks. My figures derive from the attached reports, which Kevin Lovell, the General Manager of KVIA ABC-7, was kind enough to share with me.


The total dominance of ABC-7 over its English-language competitors is stunning. For the 5pm newscast, ABC-7 has a larger average audience than CBS 4, KTSM 9, and KFOX 14 combined, and for the 6:00pm newscast, they have 3.5 times the viewership of KTSM 9. On average, their audience grew several times faster from March to April than all of their competitors combined. That is because ABC-7 is a content-driven network that airs quality newscasts delivered by highly professional and talented anchors, and its leadership has trained a competent team of investigative journalists who do more than report on car accidents or the latest murders or missing persons. Their anchors do not sell jewelry, legal services or anything else during their newscasts and their reporting is generally free of political bias or interference. When the City or County issues press releases, ABC-7 anchors and reporters do not cite them uncritically, but they also provide context and opinions from quality sources so that viewers are better informed; and when it comes to interviewing a politician, they ask penetrating questions rather than squandering the opportunity by providing a pulpit for gratuitous self-promotion. And yes, ABC-7 opens their newscasts with the top stories of the moment, not with the weather or some story about a cute little poodle. Bravissimo!


Noticias 26 has maintained its dominant position in the Spanish-speaking community, with more than double the ratings of Telemundo 48; yet both networks produce a lot of impressive reports! It is telling that Noticias 26 newscasts have substantially more viewers than either KTSM 9 or CBS 4. The growth rate of their audience is second only to ABC-7. Todavia, sus presentadores y reporteros constantemente entregan noticieros de alta calidad, que a menudo incluyen una cobertura detallada! It should be noted that Noticias 26 and ABC-7 are not truly competitors since they are aimed at different markets. 


Amazingly, of the top 20 Hispanic-viewed local news programs in the Borderland, ABC-7 airs 13 of them, including the top 9! This debunks any notion that Hispanics automatically turn to Spanish-language newscasts. See the attached document, which also comes courtesy of Kevin Lovell of KVIA ABC-7. It is interesting that CBS 4 and KTSM 9 have no newscasts on this list.

Many thanks to Kevin for sharing with me the attached documents. I hope you find them as informative as I did.