This week, we’re taking a look back at the first quarter of 2017 in the top 10 markets across the country to track the performance of the top local broadcasters and their talent so far this year. From President Trump’s inauguration and the protests that followed some of his early actions in office to the Super Bowl and Tom Brady’s stolen jersey, it was a big 90 days of news in the nation’s top markets.
How local stations adapted their content and content from their partners to best take advantage of their large social audiences and the ability to stream live video to them determined the levels of success for many stations in the first quarter. Facebook Live video drove levels of Engagement that changed the game for some stations — even if it was just a stream of a giraffe not giving birth. While it may not have been the most newsworthy event, the incredible reach of those streams illustrated the potential audiences that can be captivated by the format and the necessity of digital and social teams that can quickly identify trends and capitalize on them with quality content.
Note: The rankings for individuals in this post are based on current station talent. Those that have moved to other stations or markets have since been migrated to their new employers within Share Rocket’s system. The rankings are based on data from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that Share Rocket tracks for its social media ratings.
DMA #1 – New York City
Overall, the New York City social market was steady in the year’s first quarter with WNYW maintaining the top position with a 37.5 Share. The Fox station averaged 716 Engagements per Post overall, the largest amount of any station in the market.
WABC was second with a 32.7 overall Share. The gap between WNYW and WABC shrunk slightly during the quarter, with the ABC station growing its Share by +3.6% compared to the previous quarter, and both stations saw total social Audience growth of more than +7%.
Third-place WPIX saw a +7% jump to a 12 Share for the quarter and its WPIX Archives page was the top sub-brand page in the market with 1,426 Engagements per Post on its 181 posts in the 90 days. Its main station pages saw a +33.3% jump in engagement compared to the previous quarter.
Fourth-place WNBC had only a slight increase in Share to 8.5, but saw modest gains in total Audience (+3.6%) and Engagement (+7.7%) compared to the previous quarter.
The top individual in the market was WABC’s Amy Freeze, who managed a 1.0 Share overall in the very crowded NYC social market thanks to nearly 360,000 Engagements in the quarter, followed by coworkers Michelle Charlesworth and Lee Goldberg. WNYW’s Rosanna Scotto came in at No. 4 to lead the way for WNYW with strong performances on Facebook and Instagram, while No. 5 Laura Behnke of WABC moved into the top five primarily on the strength of her Instagram page.
- WNYW drove more than 13 million of their 14,085,324 total Engagements in the quarter through their main station Facebook Page.
- Charlesworth had nearly 200,000 Engagements on her Facebook Page, which was the most of any individual’s Page in the market.
- Goldberg topped the market on Twitter with a 3.4 Share of the market on the platform. He was also a prolific tweeter, with more than 1,800 tweets published from his account in the 90 days.
- WABC was dominant on Instagram with a 42.4 Share on the platform, led by the main station account (22.4 Share with more than 745,000 Engagements) and Freeze (7.3 Share with more than 245,000 Engagements). Freeze’s Instagram Audience grew by more than 25% during the quarter.
DMA #2 – Los Angeles
KABC led the market in the first quarter with a 32.9 Share across all social platforms, followed by KTTV with a 23.7 Share. KABC had more than 15.6 million Engagements on all of its pages combined in the 90-day period while KTTV also hit eight digits with more than 11 million Engagements across all of its pages.
KTTV increased its total Engagement by more than +15.2% compared to the previous quarter. The station had three of the top four individuals in the market on social in Araksya Karapetyan, Mario Ramirez, and Maria Quiban. The station also grew its main station Facebook Page by +16.3% in the first quarter, breaking 1 million followers.
Third-place KTLA had a 19.1 Share overall and has one of the strongest sub-brands in the country with their morning news pages on social media. Combined, the morning show pages had a social Audience of more than 700,000 and racked up more than 1.8 million Engagements in the first quarter and accounted for 3.9 of the station’s overall market Share.
KNBC was fourth overall with a combined Share of 9.1, but moved into third on Twitter with a 10.2 Share on that platform with Engagement up +43.7% compared to the previous quarter. Marin Austin was a big help, adding more than 50,000 Engagements on Twitter.
Fifth-place KCBS saw major improvement in the quarter, with a +51.5% increase in Share, a +14.4% increase in total social Audience, and a +73.4% increase in total Engagement. That brought them close to KNBC with an 8.5 Share.
The top individual overall on social was KTTV’s Karapetyan with a 1.5 Share, in part by posting about +50% more on Facebook than she had the previous quarter. She was followed by KVEA and radio personality Stephanie “Chiquibaby” Himonidis with a 1.2 Share, who received about 2/3rds of her Engagement from Facebook and a third from Instagram. Ramirez had the No. 1 individual Facebook Page in the market. KTTV’s Maria Quiban was a strong performer across all three platforms. KMEX’s León Krauze has more than a million Twitter followers and his Engagement total on the platform bested every account (individual, sub-brand, and station) except KABC and KTLA’s main station accounts.
- KABC had a stunning 6,395 Engagements per Post on its main station Facebook Page.
- Both KABC and KTLA boasted total social Audiences of more than 4.5 million by the end of the quarter.
- Most of the KCBS’s improvement came from the main station Facebook Page, which was responsible for nearly 90% of the station’s total Engagement on social media over the 90 days.
- Ramirez increased his Audience on Facebook by +74.2% compared to the end of the previous 90 days.
DMA #3 – Chicago
The first quarter of 2017 saw WLS grow its Share by +3.6% across all platforms to a 35.7 to lead all stations. Behind it, WFLD moved ahead of WGN into second overall in the market with a 24.9 Share to WGN’s 23.3. The top four stations in the market all saw declines in Voice (total number of posts) and Engagement in Q1 2017 compared to Q4 2016, but the Cubs’ World Series win was likely a factor in that.
WLS’s main brand accounts were the No. 1 account in the market on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during the quarter. Its main brand pages made up 32.1 of the station’s 35.7 overall Share, with talent and sub-brand pages accounting for the rest.
WFLD moved into second overall on the strength of its main station Facebook Page, which increased its Audience by +16.5% in the quarter to more than 1 million followers. WFLD was also helped by Jenny Milkowski, who had the No. 2 individual Facebook Page in the market in terms of Share (0.94).
WGN was third overall, but second in the market on Twitter and Instagram behind only WLS. The station’s social performance is largely a group effort, with only about 77% of the station’s total Engagement coming from the main brand accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, compared to 88% for WFLD and 92% for WLS. That is helped by Paul Konrad and the WGN’s Morning News sub-brand which each accumulated more than 300,000 Engagements across all platforms during the 90 days.
WGBO’s Ericka Pino was the No. 1 individual in the market with a 1.5 Share, which was nearly double her Share in the previous quarter. Pino was No. 1 on Facebook and No. 4 on Instagram among individuals. Milkowski’s total social Audience grew by +22.4% in Q1. Konrad was among the top three individuals in the market on both Facebook and Twitter. Éricka Maldonado was the other talent from WGBO to crack the top five in the market with a 0.77 Share and had a total Audience of more than 250,000 followers at the end of the quarter. WLS’s Cheryl Burton rounded out the top five after making a big jump up the rankings. Her Facebook Page garnered more than 250,000 Engagements in the quarter, a +260% improvement on the previous 90 days.
- WLS and WFLD both generated more than 10 million total Engagements in the quarter, with WLS leading the way with 15.6 million.
- WFLD led the way among main station Facebook Pages in the market in Engagements per Post with 3,163.
- WFLD’s Richard Roeper was the No. 1 individual on Twitter with a 4.0 Share. He’s the only individual in the market with more than 100,000 Twitter followers (he had more than 250,000 at the end of Q1)
- WLS’s Cheryl Scott was the No. 1 individual on Instagram with a 6.3 Share on the platform.
DMA #4 – Philadelphia
WPVI held on to a large lead on social media in the Philadelphia market in the first quarter with a 49.1 Share overall, followed by WTXF in second with a 33.9 Share. Those two stations left little room for others in the market — none of the four other stations Share Rocket tracks in the market had higher than a 9.9 Share overall.
WPVI’s high Share score came from strong main station accounts on Facebook and Twitter, as well as having four of the top six individual talents in the market (all of whom had an overall Share score of 0.96 or higher in Q1). When combining stats for all of the station, sub-brand, and individual accounts, WPVI had the most Engagements of any station in the market by more than 2.2 million.
WTXF improved its overall Share by +9.6% during the 90 days to cut down WPVI’s lead slightly. The station improvement came largely from the main station Facebook Page, which grew its Audience by +8.2% and generated +40% more Engagement in Q1 2017 than it did in the previous quarter. WTXF led the market on Instagram with a 63.6 Share as a group, with Alex Holley chipping in a 27.3 Share on the platform (the highest of any account in the market — brand or individual).
Third-place WCAU had a very good quarter on Twitter, increasing their Share by +32.8, their Audience by +9.3%, and their Engagement by +72% on the platform.
Among individuals, WPVI’s Adam Joseph was No. 1 overall with a 3.1 Share. His social media Audience totaled more than 260,000 followers at the end of the quarter and racked up more than 630,000 Engagements across all platforms during the 90 days. Holley was No. 2 overall with her Facebook and Instagram accounts among the top three individual pages on those platforms. WPVI’s Cecily Tynan was third, with her Facebook Page accounting for almost 95% of the Engagement she generated. No. 4, WTXF’s Bob Kelly, made an impact on all three platforms, combining for almost 200,000 total Engagements. WPVI’s Karen Rogers closed out the top five. Rogers posted the most of any of the top five in the market on social, including 3,598 tweets.
- Adam Joseph’s Facebook Page is an Engagement machine. He averaged 4,333 Engagements per Post on the platform during Q1.
- [NBC]’s John Clark led the market among individuals on Twitter with a 6.0 Share. He generated more than 63,000 Engagements on the platform, more than all but three accounts in the market (all of which were main station accounts).
- WPVI was just shy of 1 million Facebook followers on its main Page at the end of the first quarter and has since surpassed that figure.
- Every station in the Philadelphia market increased its overall Engagement from Q4 2016 to Q1 2017.
DMA #5 – Dallas/Fort Worth
KDFW had a 39.1 Share in the first quarter to hold the top spot in Dallas. The station finished the quarter with an Audience of more than 1.1 million followers on its main Facebook Page, the only station in the market with a Page larger than 700,000 followers, and it generated more than 5.9 million Engagements. KDFW also led the way on Instagram, where the station had a 45.3 Share on the platform when all accounts were included.
WFAA was second with a 24.5 Share overall, but was the No. 1 station in the market on Twitter with a 41.7 Share on that platform. The top Twitter account in the market was Hannah Davis, who saw her Audience on Twitter more than double and the amount of Engagement on her account increase by +4,312% (not a typo) compared to the previous quarter after her coverage of airport protests went viral.
In third place was KXAS with an 18.2 overall Share, which increased +7.2% from Q4 2016. The station was helped in part Meredith Land, who saw her overall Share increase +587, her total Audience increase +28.8%, and her total Engagement increase +738% after a huge quarter on Facebook.
Fourth-place KTVT improved by leaps and bounds in the first quarter, increasing its overall Share by +87.9%, growing its total Audience by +23.8%, and more than doubling its total Engagement compared to the previous quarter. While the station remained in fourth place, by the end of the quarter, it had reduced the gap between fourth and third to less than five Share points. The main station Facebook Page, which averaged 918 Engagements per Post (second in the market), led the way in the improvement.
KDFW’s Lauren Przybyl was the No. 1 individual in the market in the quarter with a 1.9 Share as she topped the individual rankings on both Facebook and Instagram. Meredith Land’s big improvement on Facebook moved her into the No. 2 overall spot in the market. Third was WFAA’s Pete Delkus, who generated more than 200,000 Engagements in the quarter across all platforms. KDFW’s Jenny Anchondo was fourth, as she finished in the top three among individuals on both Facebook and Instagram. WFAA’s Hannah Davis rounded out the top five with the assistance of her more than 130,000 Engagements on Twitter.
- KDFW averaged 2,713 Engagements per Post on its main station Facebook Page in the quarter.
- Pete Delkus had the largest Twitter Audience of any individual in the market with 290,000+ followers.
- With all accounts factored in, WFAA had more than 1.1 million Twitter followers at the end of Q1. No other station had more than 700,000.
- About 91% of KTVT’s overall Engagement in the quarter came from their main Facebook Page.