Reaching an Audience
It's only natural that emphasis is placed on obtaining high ratings during sweeps. However, "Mexican Mainstay Hits Airwaves for Sweeps," (May 6) did not address just how many people are reached by stations that yield high ratings. While KMEX may achieve strong ratings for a particular program, its overall reach of unique viewers is quite low in comparison to stations like KTLA. According to Los Angeles Nielsen February reports, the six English-language network stations reached an average 70 percent of Los Angeles television households over a week from sign-on to sign-off. Over the same period, KMEX reached 20 percent of television households, which is on par with the reach of cable stations such as HBO and E! KTLA's reach with Latino viewers is also favorable in comparison to any Hispanic station.
English stations such as KTLA do place a priority on attracting Latino audiences, and we do not dismiss our competition. KTLA recognizes the growth of various population segments, including Latinos and Asians in Los Angeles. We also acknowledge that despite an increased Latino presence, Latinos are not dependent upon Spanish-language entertainment. The fact that many programs carried on English stations earn high ratings with Latino audiences illustrates they embrace more than one culture. Further, we are not surprised that in May 2002 sweep to date results, English station programming occupies the top primetime ranks among Los Angeles households.
KTLA Research Director
In 1972, then Councilman Ed Edelman and I had our picture taken on the railroad tracks on Santa Monica Boulevard at Avenue of the Stars. The councilman announced that the city had agreed to acquire the tracks and that construction to turn the two Santa Monica Boulevards into one street would begin within a couple of years. Those plans were shot down by the Southern California Association of Governments.
At no time did I ever hear anyone propose six lanes in each direction on those streets ("Westside's Heartbreak Boulevard," May 13). The business community did recommend five lanes in each direction, one of which would be reserved for buses and carpools. The loss of this lane (in the new three-lane proposal) is a disaster. Caltrans is spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing carpool lanes on the 405 and it would have been a natural to have those lanes feed directly onto Santa Monica Boulevard. Someday, those lanes will be added and the cost will be many times what it would have been if included in this plan.
The businesspeople along the street are right, they are going to suffer. Local residents are also correct; their now-quiet streets will become congested with frustrated motorists seeking alternatives to the clogged boulevard. This will continue forever as increased traffic flow is squeezed into a boulevard whose capacity has not been materially increased.
Harold L. Katz
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