By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Nov 11, 2014 at 4:18 PM Photography:

In October, the race for the top of the nightly newscast was the tightest it has been in the last 5 years, if not the past 10. The four local news stations finished the mini-sweeps month within a half of a ratings point of each other.

WTMJ-TV Ch. 4 led the way with a 6.5 at 10 p.m., WITI-TV Fox 6 and WDJT-TV CBS 58 each had a 6.2 and WISN-TV Ch. 12 had a 6.1.

With the main November sweep going on right now, at a time without Thursday Night Football games on CBS or World Series baseball on Fox, it will be interesting to see which station will pull forward for the next ratings win.

The morning news looks a bit different as WITI leads with a 3.7, and WISN was second with a 3.6. WTMJ had a 1.7 for the hours between 4:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.

According to the latest data from Nielsen Media Research, WISN 12 News continues to draw the top local audiences on weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. At 6 p.m., WISN led the local news audience throughout the early evening with a 6.5 household rating. WISN is in second place with a 5.6.

 "All of us at WISN 12 are grateful and humbled to be southeastern Wisconsin’s choice for local news," said Jan Wade, president and general manager at WISN.  "We are fortunate at 12 News to have a veteran staff of professionals dedicated to their craft.  They work hard and they strive for excellence in all that they do."

"UPFRONT With Mike Gousha" (4.2) grew its audience by 45 percent year-to-year, and leads all other Sunday morning news talk/current affairs programs, according to a press release.

In September, the ABC affiliate changed its afternoon talk show lineup, adding "The Meredith Vieira Show" at 2 p.m. and" Steve Harvey" at 3 p.m. "The Dr. Oz Show" moved from afternoons to 11 a.m. weekday mornings.  All three of these program changes resulted in year-to-year audience gains in each time period for the station as the 11 a.m. hour is up 21 percent, the 2 p.m. hour is up 13 percent and the 3 p.m.  hour is up 53 percent versus October 2013.

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" continues to draw the top audience at 4 p.m. with year-to-year audience growth – and continues to be the top syndicated talk show among southeastern Wisconsin viewers.

EXCLUSIVE: Fox News will present a new documentary, "The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden" hosted by Washington correspondent Peter Doocy, at 9 p.m on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The two-night presentation will feature Docy’s exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed terrorist leader Usama Bin Laden.

MORE CHRISTMAS MUSIC: On Nov. 1, WZTI-AM 1290 launched its all Holiday music format and started a rebroadcast of it – The Elf – on 100.3 FM. Last week, the Journal Boradcast Group launched the format online.

Following last year’s record-breaking audience on "The Christmas Station" digital radio stream, Journal Broadcast Group announced its return and the launch of two additional Christmas stations. "Country Christmas" and a contemporary Christmas station named "Hitsmas" are now a part of "The Radio League" App.

Last year, "The Christmas Station" streamed worldwide on Journal Broadcast Group websites and apps, via Radionomy and through the TuneIn app. It was ranked as the top Radionomy-powered station in the United States on Christmas day.

"When listeners need a little shot of holiday cheer they can click over to one of our Christmas music stations," said J. Pat Miller, Director of Marketing & Innovation for Journal's Milwaukee Radio Operations.

"Adding three channels to the Radio League app allows the music focus that streaming music listeners expect. From Bing Crosby to Mannheim Steamroller, it’s all there!"

Journal Broadcast Group Vice President for Interactive Michael Gay said, "We’re tripling the holiday cheer this year with our new formats, and believe we now have a Christmas format for millions of elves getting ready for the holiday. Hopefully Santa is taking note when he works on his ‘nice’ list!"

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.