This might be the start of a trend. “GMA” vs. “Today” show, anyone?
For the second week in a row, ABC’s “World News Tonight” with David Muir won in total viewers over NBC News’ “Nightly News,” hosted by Lester Holt, who’s filling in for a suspended Brian Williams.
WNT attracted 8,250,000 viewers while Nightly drew 8,022,000 viewers—a 228,000 difference. Muir also won the 25-54 demo and the 18-49 demo: 2,032,000 viewers vs. 1,842,000 viewers in 25-54 and 1,410,000 viewers vs 1,298,000 viewers in 18-49.
The victory in all three demos for consecutive weeks is the first time ABC has accomplished that feat in over seven years.
After breaking NBC News’ five-year run as total viewers champion two weeks ago, the victory for the week of April 6th marks the second win in a row in total viewers for ABC.
NBC executives might have viewed one week as a fluke, but new NBC News Chairman Andy Lack can’t feel comfortable with the flagship evening news broadcast now losing two weeks in a row.
Lester Holt has filled in admirably for the suspended Williams, an NBC News insider told TheWrap, but wondered if he could sustain the broadcast’s ratings prowess like Williams had for years.
With the program now falling into second place for two weeks, the Williams question becomes more pressing: does the ratings slide expedite the decision on whether to bring Williams back or not, a question that NBC News insiders told TheWrap has divided the network’s newsroom.
And if they bring him back, can the network afford to wait the full six months they originally suspended him for when Nightly is losing.