A new study estimates NBC local stations would have lost some $22 million in three months if the network hadn't acted to move Jay Leno out of prime time.
Research firm Harmelin Media says local affiliates saw their late news audience drop by an average of 25 percent in November compared with the previous year in a key advertising demo.
It's an illustration of why those stations put pressure on NBC to end Leno's 10 p.m. show each weeknight. They trace their news ratings decline to Leno's poor ratings leading into their programming.
The study analyzes ad prices to suggest that three more months of Leno would have cost the 210 stations a collective $22 million. The ratings declines were particularly steep in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
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