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Television Ratings Up on Morning of the Verdicts

April 20, 1993|STEVEN HERBERT

Television viewership in the L.A. area doubled its normal level Saturday morning as the verdicts in the federal trial of the three L.A. police officers and one former officer accused of denying Rodney G. King his civil rights was announced, according to figures released Monday by the A.C. Nielsen Co.

Approximately 1.9 million of the 4,965,700 households with television sets in the Los Angeles-Orange County market--or 38.6%--had their sets on between 7-7:30 a.m. as six of the seven VHF stations preempted regularly scheduled programming for news coverage. During the previous eight weeks, the figure--officially called a HUT level, for homes using television--was exactly half of that, averaging 19.3%.

The HUT level grew to 48.1% between 8:30-9 a.m. before leveling off as viewers grew assured that there would not be a repeat of last spring's civil unrest following the verdicts in the state trial.

Barbara Tenney, research manager for KNBC-TV Channel 4, called the HUT levels "extraordinarily high" for a Saturday morning. It was almost identical to the 38.4 HUT level between 3-4 p.m. on April 29, 1992, when the verdict in the officers' state trial was announced, which was considered normal viewing for a Wednesday afternoon, according to Mary Hall, director of research for KCBS-TV Channel 2.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday April 21, 1993 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 8 Column 4 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Out of third--KCBS-TV Channel 2 was incorrectly identified in Tuesday's Calendar as being in third place in the local news ratings. While it does run third in some time periods, it places second in others.

In a departure from the usual news viewing patterns, KNBC emerged as the highest-rated station, averaging a 7.8 rating and 21% of the television audience between 6 a.m.-noon, including an 11.1 rating and 32 share between 6:30-8 p.m. (Each rating point represents 49,657 households.)

KABC-TV Channel 7, with the top-rated weekday newscasts at 4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m., was second with a 7.4 and 20%. KCBS had a 4.7 and 13%.

Although a precise comparison among the four independent stations was impossible because of their varied hours of coverage, KCAL-TV Channel 9 won from 7-7:30 a.m. with a 6.3 rating and a 16% share. KTLA-TV Channel 5, traditionally the top-rated independent for both breaking stories and its 10 p.m. newscast, was second with a 3.9 rating and a 10% share.

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