Since “NBC News Daily” launched three months ago, it has earned the title of the highest-rated new show in weekday daytime in terms of total viewers across broadcast, cable, and syndicated – a success co-hosts Morgan Radford and Vicky Nguyen attribute to telling stories that become dinnertime conversations.
“As a working journalist, odds are the people who are watching this also have similar questions, and we can help them,” Nguyen told TheWrap. “We can help them manage their money, we can help them with parenting techniques, we can help them talk about mental health issues in their family. I love the fact that our show brings complex topics to the table, and helps people break them down and make sense of their world.”
Launched in September, “NBC News Daily” balances consumer stories, politics coverage and breaking news as it appears on NBC broadcast stations as well as streams on NBC News NOW, NBC News’ streaming network. While Radford and Nguyen anchor live from from 12 noon to 2 p.m. ET on streaming, Kate Snow and Aaron Gilchrist anchor live on streaming from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. One of those four hours appears on NBC broadcast stations.
For Nguyen, who is a working mother of three daughters, covering the news the way she would like to consume it means keeping viewers plugged into what’s going on in their world locally, nationally and internationally while also delivering information that helps viewers “live a smarter, healthier, wealthier, better life.”
This reporting recently brought Radford to Georgia, where she spoke to a group of women raising awareness about cervical cancer – a disease killing Black women at a rate 60% higher than white women. After investigating this disparity, the hosts brought a doctor onto “News Daily,” who walked through tips and warning signs, a segment that resulted in piles of emails and direct messages thanking the hosts for bringing attention to this issue.
“That was a lot of data that I could use [and] my friends could use,” Radford told TheWrap. “Having these conversations that we’re having around our dinner table, and bringing them to a national audience in the way that we bring them, I think is a really important and needed element in the market right now.”
“News Daily” prioritizes consumer-facing stories through franchise segments like “Mental Health Check,” which recently dove into mental health services available to veterans, and “Modern Parenting,” which recently spread awareness of the difficulty of finding childcare as parents enroll their unborn children into daycare months before their birth.
“We’ve got a team of people looking for ideas all the time, and then booking those and finding the right guests and then having the right conversation,” Snow told TheWrap, adding that their collaboration with CNBC’s “Money Minute” and “Consumer Confidential” has received stellar feedback from viewers. “They’re really relating to the consumer news, the economic news that we’ve been doing — in the time we’re living, we’re doing a lot of stories about, is there going to be a recession? What do these job numbers mean to me?”
Moreover, Snow and Gilchrist have heard from viewers that “News Daily” is “fill[ing] a void” of daytime news that keeps viewers informed throughout their day.
“It’s nice to be able to get straight news in the middle of the day, and to get caught up on what’s happening, all over the world at a time when we’re not used to having that ability in broadcast television, and in the streaming space,” Gilchrist told TheWrap. “Suddenly, they have this place where they were able to get information. They didn’t have to stop and read something they were able to listen to what’s happening, and go into the evening smarter.”
Since its September launch, “NBC News Daily” has outperformed CNN in terms of average total viewers every week since its premiere, with “News Daily” averaging 1.1 million total viewers, 60% higher than CNN’s viewership during the 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. time slot, according to Nielsen’s live plus same-day figures.
In the key news demographic, which ranges from ages 25-54 for broadcast channels, “NBC News Daily” has averaged more viewers than CNN and Fox News Channel, with an average demo viewership of 261,000, a figure that doubles CNN’s viewership by 106% and exceeds FNC’s numbers by 29% in the 12 non to 4 p.m. hours. (FNC’s “America Reports” led “NBC News Daily” in total average viewers in the 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. time slot.)
As compared to “GMA3: What You Need to Know,” “News Daily” has topped the key demo 10 times since its premiere, most recently averaging a win in the demo last week, from Dec. 12 through Dec. 15, with an average of 338,000 viewers in the demo, making last week the broadcast’s highest-rated week ever in the demo.
For Janelle Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of NBC News Programming, the numbers reflect a substantial audience — including younger viewers in the key demo — that “wants news in its fullest range,” including coverage of the economy, Ukraine, the death of the Queen, the midterm elections, the crash of crypto and the meltdown at Twitter.
As Rodriguez encourages her team to lean into the stories that are on the minds of their families and friends, their focus on relevancy aims to interest viewers of all ages, and specifically tends to draw out a younger audience, especially through the livestream of “NBC News Now,” whose average viewer is about 35 to 40.
“NBC News Now’s” livestream is tracking to have its third straight record quarter in the 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. time slot, with its audience growing over 80% since Dec. 21, according to Cloudfront & Adobe Analytics. The time slot also reached its highest audience in Sept. 2022, driven by coverage of Hurricane Ian and the Queen’s passing.
“People do underestimate the fact that younger people do watch the news and are interested in the news,” Rodriguez told TheWrap. “it really speaks to … not that younger people, however you define them, aren’t interested in the news, but you need to be accessible to where they are and where they’re watching.”