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The Promos, the Hype, the Swaps for the Sweeps Continue

THE SWEEPS: One in a series examining the TV industry's periodic ratings rituals.

February 12, 1988|RICK SHERWOOD

INDEPENDENTS: Talk about the power of the promo.

KTLA Channel 5 brought home a big ratings win Wednesday night thanks to its broadcast-television premiere of "Mask" and a promotional blitzkrieg that included about 100 on-air spots in one day.

"Mask," the moving 1985 drama starring Cher, Sam Elliott and Eric Stoltz, averaged a 13.2 rating (locally, one rating point represents 46,527 viewing households). It was the top-rated program in the market throughout its 7:30-10 p.m. broadcast, besting even network programming.

KTLA wouldn't say how many "Mask" promos were aired Wednesday but said that 100 was a good estimate. Factoring in a 7.4 rating for KTLA's 10 p.m. newscast (which tied with KABC-TV's 11 p.m. report as the evening's highest-ranked news program), the station finished second only to KABC in the 8-11 p.m. prime-time race that night.

Looking at the period from 6 p.m. to midnight, however, KTLA was the most-watched station in the market. A win for "Magnum, P.I." over local and network news broadcasts from 6-7 p.m., and a first-place finish for "Cheers" at 11 p.m. solidified the KTLA victory.

"It's rare that we dominate an evening like this, and I don't know if it has ever happened in a sweeps month," said KTLA spokesman Ed Harrison. "It shows that when independent stations air something people want to watch, viewers will get up and turn the channel--or at least stay where they are and punch the remote."

So far in the February sweeps, KTLA is tops among the local independents in prime time and from sign-on to sign-off.

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