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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 9:34 a.m., Tuesday, June 11, 2002

KHON regains top spot at 10 p.m.

By Walter Wright
Advertiser Staff Writer

KHON’s 10 p.m. newscast with Joe Moore moved back on top of the latest Nielsen ratings, regaining its standing after losing to KHNL-News 8 during the Winter Olympics in February when the NBC affiliate gained viewers.

But KHNL and KGMB both moved up from a year ago at 10 p.m. KHNL grabbed the No. 2 position, while KITV slipped to fourth.

John Fink, general manager of KHNL, said he was glad that the Olympics gave the station a chance to showcase its local newscasts. News 8’s top finish in February was the first time in nearly 20 years that KHON’s late news with Moore was displaced from the top spot.

Moore’s ratings in last month’s survey remained even with February for 10 p.m., but viewership is down from a year ago and is the lowest in years.

And while Moore’s dominant 6 p.m. news recovered from a decline suffered during KHNL’s broadcast of the Olympics, Moore’s ratings at 6 p.m. showed a decline in viewership over the longer term.

But Moore’s ratings at 6 p.m. are still more than twice the number posted by any of the other three stations. KHNL, KITV and KGMB were all virtually tied for second place in that time slot, which represents a gain for News 8 since May 2001 and a loss by KITV.

KHON news director Jim McCoy attributed some of his station’s slippage to “stunting” by the major networks with “big anniversary shows” and dramatic plot twists like the death of a popular character on NBC’s highly-rated drama “ER” during the survey periods.

KITV still leads the pack at 5 p.m., when KHON runs “Jeopardy.”

Viewers can expect to see some significant programming changes over the summer as stations try to improve their positions before the next ratings period in November.

KHON will begin a 5 p.m. newscast on July 1 to open what McCoy calls the station’s “superblock” 90-minute news sequence. McCoy said the Fox affiliate also will use local news features on topics raised on “Oprah,” which is broadcast before the news.
KHON will drop “Jeopardy” to make room for the new programming. The game show will be picked up by CBS affiliate KGMB, which will use it as a lead-in for its 5 p.m. news, general manager Lynne Mueller said.

Mueller made note of the station’s gains at 10 p.m. and a claim to a piece of second place at 6 p.m.
KITV will move reruns of “Seinfeld” from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to strengthen the early evening, according to Mike Rosenberg, general manager of the ABC affiliate.

As for 5 p.m., “we have been No. 1 at that hour for a long time, and we expect to remain No. 1,” he said.

Reach Walter Wright at wwright@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8054.

Correction: The previous version of this story indicated that the latest 6 p.m. news ratings represented a gain for News 8 from February. The ratings actually represent a gain for News 8 since May 2001.