NBC Washington Says Government Shutdown Has Increased Midday News Ratings

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel 

One Washington, D.C., station is saying the government shutdown has brought more eyes to the market’s local news stations during the day.

NBC Washington has seen an increase in viewers watching the station’s midday and early shows—reflecting that more people are at home instead of at work—while fewer people are watching in the early mornings, when they would normally be getting ready for the workday, according to ratings in the adults 24-54 demo during the first 17 days of January.

“The routines of a lot of federal workers and government contractors have been affected, and that’s having an impact on our newscasts,” said NBC Washington assistant news director Matt Glassman.


From 4-4:30 a.m, WRC ratings are down 29 percent from this time last year. The only other local station on at that time is WTTG, which is also down.

At 11 a.m, the station’s ratings are up 16 percent, and they jump a whopping 59 percent at 4 p.m.

Glassman says the ratings data has shaped the station’s news coverage.

“Those who have been furloughed and are spending more time at home are watching more local news. We’re finding a lot of stories to tell about how the shutdown impacts our community and the people who live and work here. They want and need information, and we’re tailoring our coverage to them rather than the politics of it,” he said.

This is the 27th day of the shutdown.