How ‘NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt’ Has Dominated Ratings During His First Year

Show has won all but two weeks in key age 25-54 demo since Holt became permanent anchor in June 2015


NBC’s “Nightly News With Lester Holt” has won the key demographic of adults age 25-54 for all but two weeks of the past year and for 54 of the 56 weeks since the anchor permanently took over from Brian Williams.

Holt’s dominance in the key demo was evident on Friday night when he anchored from Nice, France, and beat his closest competition by 280,000 viewers age 25-54. For the week, “Nightly News” averaged 1.88 million viewers in the key demo compared to 1.68 million for ABC and 1.6 million for CBS.

In fact, “Nightly News” won all five nights last week. Holt — who took over as permanent anchor in June 2015 — has only lost the demo twice during the past year, and one of the losses was the week of June 6, 2016, when ABC was in the midst of televising the NBA Finals.

Holt even picked up a victory among total viewers last week. NBC’s newscast averaged 7.86 million total viewers, compared to 7.56 million for ABC’s “World News Tonight.” CBS’ “Evening News” finished third, averaging 6.5 million viewers.

Holt has also anchored NBC News’ primetime coverage of the Republican National Convention, which has topped all other broadcast network coverage for the first two nights of the event.

NBC News’ coverage on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET averaged 4.7 million viewers, while ABC averaged 2.3 million and CBS drew 2.6 million.

Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd joined Holt for coverage of the RNC, with Tom Brokaw, Peter Alexander, Hallie Jackson and Nicolle Wallace contributing.