For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253


(Rochester, New York) February 5, 2009 – Recently released November rating results from Nielsen show that WXXI-TV viewers are the most loyal in the nation to their public television station, based on time spent viewing.  

The report ranked WXXI-TV number one among all PBS stations in Whole Week Gross Rating Points (GRPs), a measure of audience success, with a total of 1330.5 points.  This represents a 40% increase over last year, making it one of WXXI’s best rating periods in years. Rochester’s public broadcasting station ranked number two in primetime among its peers with a total of 401.7 points, a 44% increase over ratings in 2007.

Kennedy, a feature film about the life of President John F. Kennedy, was the most watched program during the rating period with 41,000 viewers.  Viewership was also strong for programs covering world affairs, such as The NewsHour and Frontline, along with continued audience support for PBS favorites such as Antiques Roadshow.  WXXI-TV’s weekly in-depth news program Need to Know also increased its reach (Need to Know, which moved from Friday at 9 p.m. to Friday at 8:30 p.m., nearly doubled its audience from last year in its new timeslot).

The programming that resulted in WXXI-TV’s highest Nielsen ratings included the station’s 11½-hour block of non-violent, non-commercial children’s programming broadcast each weekday. This block features PBS’s top kids shows: Curious George, Super WHY!, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Sid the Science Kid, and Sesame Street

“From education to public affairs, our programming is clearly striking a chord with our viewers,” said WXXI President Norm Silverstein.  “What these numbers mean is that more households are tuning in, and then staying with WXXI. This is exactly what public broadcasting is supposed to do – provide engaging programs that educate, enlighten and make a difference in the community.”

The report ranking WXXI-TV’s number in Gross Rating Points was compiled by TRAC Media, a research firm serving public television, based on the independent Nielson ratings.
WXXI is the largest, locally owned media resource in the Greater Rochester area and the only locally owned and operated television station in the market. It operates: WXXI-TV (channel 21/cable 11), WXXI-HD (DT21.1/cable 1011), WXXI-World (DT 21.2/cable 524), WXXI-Create/ThinkBright (DT21.3/cable 433), AM 1370 (Rochester’s NPR news station), Classical 91.5 (Rochester’s only full-time classical music station), FM 90.5 (a mix of Classical and NPR news broadcast in Houghton, NY), WRUR-FM 88.5 (a broadcast partnership with the University of Rochester), and Reachout Radio, a service for those with visual impairments or blindness.

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

Press Release Index