Latest News Ratings: Channel 7 Wins Easily




A lot of people like to make fun of the hyperactive WSVN-Channel 7 News, but guess what?  They are number one again in two out of the three news hours in the November sweeps.

This from SFLTV, the blog of South Florida television.



Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein is the long-time legal commentator on WSVN-Channel 7


WSVN is first at 6 a.m., followed by WTVJ-Channel 6.  WPLF-Channel 10 and WFOR-Channel 4 are left behind.

What strikes me is how poorly WFOR-Channel 4 is doing.  They are last at 6 a.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Not only last, but at 6 p.m. WFOR less than half of the viewers as leader WSVN, according to the interpretation of the ratings by SFLTV.

WPLG edges out WSVN at 11 p.m., but remember that Channel 7’s news really begins at 10 p.m.

One caveat:  This is for English language stations only. My bet is the two huge Spanish-language leaders in Miami scoop up a healthy share of the news viewers.

For all the numbers, look at SFLTV here.

15 Responses to “Latest News Ratings: Channel 7 Wins Easily”

  1. Retraction Bob says:

    That’s because Bob Norman sucks.

  2. South FloriDUH says:

    The fact that most South Floridians watch WSVN for news is clearly indicative of the South Florida mentality. All flash and no substance.

  3. Git R Done says:

    Hey Buddy, Channel 10 is on everyday during the week @ 4:30PM, why don’t people know that??? That’s way before Channel 7, they only show their news on @ 5:00 am…Why is this such a big deal???

  4. Christine says:

    The sad thing is that this says more about the audience than the quality of programming.

  5. Duke says:

    Buddy..who do you think is the best local news anchor(s)and the best on-site reporter(s).. and why?


    Many are excellent.

    Two reporters that stand out in my mind are Michael Putney on WPLG-Channel 10 and Jim DeFede on WFOR-Channel 4. They break a lot of stories and their material is more sophisticated than a lot of TV.

    I’ve always been impressed with WFOR-Channel 4’s Elliot Rodriquez, who has been around a long time and seems to know the community. He has an air of authority.

    WSVN-Channel 7’s Craig Stevens is another strong anchor who has some time in South Florida.

    I like Courtney Fallon, who is a NBC6 sport anchor. It is good to see a woman who knows a lot about sports and who can resist her husky voice.

    And, of course, Kim Bokamper on WFOR-Channel 4, who knows sports and particularly football from the inside.

    Let’s not forget John Morales on NBC6 for weather. He’s seen everything Mother Nature can dish out.

    These are just the ones that come to mind quickly. This is an exciting town for news, sports and weather and most of the on-air folks do very good jobs.

  6. SAM FIELDS says:

    Every so often I force myself to watch a half hour of local news to remind myself what crap it is.

    That’s 30 minutes I’ll never be able to recover. I’d rather watch the cable channel that plays a burning fireplace.

    From each half hour subtract 8 minutes of commercials and ten minutes of sports and weather.

    That leaves 12 minutes of news which is filled with crimes and gossip. There is probably less than 5 minutes of information that I need to know to be an informed citizen.

    The ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX national news is not much better.

    Every study has shown that ratings driven homicide coverage has gone up while foreign affairs coverage has declined.

    The 1976 movie NETWORK has come to pass and then some.

    The only broadcast news worth watching is from 5:30 to 7 pm on PBS. It’s 30 minutes of BBC and then 60 minutes of the PBS NEWSHOUR.

    You can actually learn something that you need to know.

    If this means I’m an information snob so be it.


    PBS and the BBC are great, but they don’t have local news, sports or weather. So you are really comparing apples to oranges.

  7. Retraction Bob says:

    Totally agree with those choices. Especially the reasons why. We like them better because they are professionals. It’s natural to respect a professional and have confidence in what they report.

  8. Duke says:

    For the most part I would agree. But what’s interesting is that out of the 7 people you mentioned, only one works at the top rated news station.

    How is it that Channel 7 has nobody that’s in the same league as Putney or DeFede yet they continue to dominate in the ratings?

    Personally, I haven’t watched channel 7 news since the Peter Ford / Sally Fitz days. Once they lost that NBC affiliation and brought in Joel Cheatwood to save the day with his “Is Elvis alive” mentality, I stopped watching.

    I never equate ratings with the quality of any program, whether it’s news or entertainment.

  9. Christine says:


    Well really Duke, in the case of Channel 7 it IS Entertainment rather than News.

  10. SAM FIELDS says:

    It’s not apples and oranges.

    Neither of them have local “news”.

    One just pretends it does.


    News is defined as information. You, Sam Fields, may not think sports, weather and local news is information, but thousands do.

    The local TV stations have a lot of crime and accident news because it is easy to cover and is visual. They just have to show up and take pictures.

    Politics, which is static, does not lend itself to a lot of pictures. (I’m talking about straight news here not cable TV’s political phony inflammatory debates.)

    It largely makes for boring TV, unless you gin it up. One way to sensationalize political news is to use ambush interviews, which is an age old practice of TV. The breathless reporter asks “did you beat your wife” questions which can’t be answered in any manner without making the subject look like a fool. This type of “journalism” is dramatic and entertaining (TV news must always be entertaining or it loses viewers. Just like the newspaper has to be entertaining.). But it doesn’t fool anyone who is the slightest bit sophisticated.

    The two stations you admire are supported by (BBC) taxpayers in the UK and cable fees or (PBS) contributions. Commercial stations need ratings, which means they must appeal to the largest number of people. Hence the emphasis on the sensational.

  11. Sam The Sham says:

    I don’t know about you guys but I get all my news by reading Sam Fields. What could go wrong with that?

  12. Duke says:

    I agree with everything Buddy says about the “news” business, and like Sam Fields I also prefer those PBS news programs. Very enjoyable reading both of their comments.

    But I also wonder sometimes about the rationale employed by the folks who are in charge of programming for the various local stations.

    Last night at 7:00, at the conclusion of their respective network newscasts, both channel 6 and channel 10 blew-off regularly scheduled programming to carry the NBC and ABC expanded coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death. Channel 4 went with Entertainment Tonight. I’d be willing to bet that CBS did the same thing as NBC and ABC and offered affiliates expanded coverage. Why someone would think that a half hour of Entertainment Tonight is more of an offering than expanded coverage on Mandela is beyond me.

    Channel 7 will sometimes decline to show one of the two NFL Sunday games showing on FOX, opting instead for a few hour long infomercials, or will choose the wrong game to show, while channel 29 in West palm Beach which is also a FOX affiliate runs 2 games on Sunday and always seems to know which games to run.

  13. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Buddy,
    So what you are saying is that local news is crap but…. it is not their fault because they are market driven.

    That was not always the case.
    Up until the 1980’s it was understood that being granted a broadcast license required that the license holder provide a public service through news shows. It was a given that the news department was a money loser but it was the price of being given a license since the public owned the airways.

    I get more local news listening to WLRN and reading the Herald. Michael Putney’s show is also valuable. The rest of it is mindless drivel that wastes a valuable tool to educate the public preferring to pander to the lowest common denominator.


    WSVN- Channel 7 and the others probably has more time devoted to news today than the 1980s. Your problem is that you don’t like the material being chosen as news or the presentation.

    TV news has the same problem as print newspapers — its audience is dying off. Viewers skew old, old, old. Don’t believe me? Just look at the products advertised.

  14. Retraction Bob says:

    The point is not being made clearly enough.

    Our way of life depends on people being informed. This way they can vote and otherwise participate in free society. When the news they rely on is slanted, false, exaggerated, or unreliable the people are misinformed. They then misuse their freedoms and unleash their powers in destructive rather than constructive ways.

    Misinformation. Propaganda. Emotional manipulation. False rumor. These are the tools used by those who destroy free societies. It does not matter whether the tools are intentionally used to that end or not. The destruction occurs just the same. Intent is not required. That’s what makes the unintentional, reckless, lying asshole reporter more dangerous than the intentional ones.

    Great freedoms and rights are given by our constitution to the press for the precise reason of ensuring that the people remain properly informed. Many gave their lives to ensure that way of life. We then see reporters poison the people with lies, misuse and abuse those privileges, wipe their behinds with the constitution, the people and government it stands for.

    For what?

    Sometimes for nickels and dimes though increasingly they do it just for laughs. Can you imagine such arrogance and irresponsibility? Some do it just for laughs. The best of them get rewarded now with prizes.

    There must be a return to journalistic ethics, discipline and restraint or this nation will tear apart and fall. The media is the reason so many of us are wildly misinformed and angry. The corruption of the media is what fuels this, misinformation cannot exist without a corrupt media.

    We are at the brink of losing our way of life because daily we drink from the poisoned well of media misinformation and lies. Somebody had better wake up and do something about it before it’s too late.

    By the way, did I mention that Bob Norman is a lying, no good, corrupt, sell out jerk?

  15. Duke says:

    Once the FCC eliminated the public service requirement and started allowing entities to own multiple broadcast outlets in any given market it all went to hell. However, under Obama’s FCC, broadcasters are now required to broadcast digitally, and anyone with a digital antenna can pick up the signal for free. So at least we don’t have to pay for all this crap unless one really wants to.