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March 21, 2006

WTAJ bests WJAC in news ratings

WTAJ-TV continued to attract more viewers for its news shows during the February ratings period than any other station in the Johnstown-Altoona viewing area.

The ratings are based on the Johnstown-Altoona Designated Marketing Area – which includes Cambria, Somerset, Bedford and Blair counties, among others – as measured by Nielsen Media Research, New York.

The Altoona-based WTAJ bested Johnstown’s WJAC-TV in four of the five time slots in which they directly compete. WTAJ had more people watching during the noon, 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscast slots. WJAC’s only win was an edge in viewership during the 6 a.m. broadcast.

“Over the past several years, we have seen consistently good ratings numbers,” said Tony DeGol, general manager at WTAJ, a CBS affiliate. “We’re never at a point where we can say we don’t have competition. We can’t say we expect we’re going to win.

“But over the years we have seen good numbers routinely. We can credit our viewers for being loyal to us and turning to us as their source for local news.”

Pamela Dennis, news director at NBC affiliate WJAC, also claimed victory for her station’s newscasts.

She said looking beyond the numbers on their surface, WJAC had a productive ratings period.

Specifically, Dennis pointed out that the station has made viewership gains among viewers ages 25 to 54, a key demographic for advertisers.

“I feel fantastic,” Dennis said.

“If you are looking at the information without breaking it down, it doesn’t really tell the whole story.

“We are targeting the key demographic, and we want to make sure women and men ages 25 to 54 are watching our newscasts. “We came up in almost every (time slot) in that key demographic, which is what advertisers look at.”

WATM-TV, the Richland Township-based ABC affiliate, is the only other competing newscast in the viewership area. Its share in the 11 p.m. slot for the February ratings period is significantly behind both WJAC and WTAJ.

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