For the first full week of Brian Williams‘ suspension, “NBC Nightly News” kept its ratings edge, beating ABC’s “World News Tonight” in viewers by a healthy margin while narrowly edging David Muir’s broadcast in the news demo.
With Lester Holt anchoring, Nightly delivered 9,430,000 viewers compared to 9,032,000 million viewers for WNT, a 398,000 viewer advantage.
It was much closer in the 25-54 demo—Nightly attracted 2,292,000 million demo viewers vs. 2,242,000 for WNT; a 50,000 viewer lead. CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley rounded out the three evening news broadcasts.
The ABC broadcast shortened the gap in total viewers by 44 percent week-to-week and 74 percent in the demo. It also won in total viewers and the demo on Wednesday, February 11th—the first night after Williams’ suspension was formally announced.
Williams was suspended for six months without pay for making erroneous claims about his war reporting in Iraq from 2003. Other claims about his time covering Hurricane Katrina, the Israel/Hamas War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and traveling with Seal Team 6 have been examined since the initial Iraq helicopter firestorm broke out.