Portland stations provided wall-to-wall coverage of the clash between the city’s Occupy protestors and police early Sunday morning, after mayor Sam Adams warned demonstrators on Saturday that they would face eviction at midnight. The stations’ commitment to covering the confrontation paid off as viewership spiked beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
“I think there was a definite interest across all television stations here in Portland,” KATU news director Don Pratt told The Oregonian, saying that viewership was “two to three times” higher than normal.
According to KGW, more than 197,000 households in Portland tuned to the Occupy coverage at midnight.
“Our ratings proved that there’s a huge appetite for this story,” KGW acting news director Rick Jacobs told The Oregonian.
Of course it wouldn’t take much to beat the programming that is regularly run at 3:00 a.m. on a Sunday, but the sustained viewer interest in the story through the night shows the importance of local TV when it comes to breaking news.
NBC-affiliate KGW, which provided live coverage from 11 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, won the night.[Via The Oregonian]