Chicago Ratings: Early Bird Newscasts Catching the Worm

By Andrew Gauthier 

Robert Feder

Maybe it wasn’t such a crazy idea after all: A lot more people than youd think really are watching news at 4:30 in the morning.

Nielsen figures for September show local news viewership from 4:30 to 5 a.m. weekdays nearly tripled since last year, when the only player in the game was NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5.

Since early August, its four main competitors have added their own newscasts at 4:30 a.m., turning it into a five-way race. More…