The broadcast, anchored by Carol Marin, has gained national recognition for its hard-news approach, cutting out commercial tie-ins and chatter between the anchor and reporters.
But the show has ranked near the bottom of the heap in the five-station fight for evening news ratings supremacy.
The Chicago Tribune reports Wednesday night's numbers were the newscast's best showing in its six-month lifespan.
Coming in first, despite "Survivor," was perennial front-runner WLS. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, WLS was the only ABC-owned station in the country to overcome the "Survivor" hype and win its evening news timeslot.
Walter DeHaven, WBBM's vice president and general manager, said in a memo to staff printed in the Sun-Timesthat he hoped the station's post-"Survivor" bounce would have a lasting impact.
"We are sure to get a bump today in our other newscasts due to the 'afterglow' of the event," DeHaven said.
Marin's newscast led Wednesday with a report on "Survivor" and commentary by famed Chicago newsman John Callaway.
According to Neilsen numbers, WLS posted a 12.6 rating and a 20 share -- more than double its lead-in audience. WBBM garnered an 11.8/18, and NBC affiliate WMAQ came in third with an 8.9/14. A local ratings point in Chicago equals 32,047 households, and a share denotes the percentage of sets in use.