From what I’ve seen, Seven News seems to be getting better ratings during the 2nd half of the bulletin than the 1st these days (it wasn’t so long ago when Nine took the lead during the 2nd half even when Seven did better during the 1st half) so that’s why I’m questioning if their weather segment might be a factor as to why the ratings gap has closed in Sydney during the 6pm hour lately.
And yes, I actually think the weather is one of the reasons why people still watch TV news. If it wasn’t an important factor in choosing a news bulletin, I doubt Seven would’ve been heavily promoting that David Brown is a meteorologist for about a year now.
Personally, I get the impression that all TV news services in Brisbane are generally more sensationalist (more relaxed/laid back in parts as well) than they are in Sydney or Melbourne.
Of course, Melbourne seems to prefer serious and formal methods of news presentation while Sydney TV news is somewhere between the Brisbane and Melbourne approaches to news.