As Brian Williams continues to serve out a six-month suspension from his NBC anchor’s chair, ABC continues to post ratings victories over perennial evening news leader NBC.
The AP reports that ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped NBC’s “Nightly News” for the week ending April 12, the second consecutive win for the ABC program and only its second weekly win since 2009. Citing Nielsen figures, AP reports that “World News Tonight” averaged 8.3 million viewers to 8 million for “Nightly News.”
The “CBS Evening News” came in third with 6.8 million viewers.
Up until ABC’s win the previous week, NBC had won 288 weeks in a row, the report notes.
“The NBC newscast has been in limbo since Williams was suspended in late February, with Lester Holt filling in. Williams was suspended for telling a false story about his experiences covering the Iraq War, launching an internal investigation within NBC about whether there are other instances that he wasn’t truthful,” AP reports.
The report cites consultant Andrew Tyndall, who examines the content of evening newscasts, indicating that the gains by ABC are part of a trend that has also included a shift toward ABC in the morning news race. Said Tyndall: “This is the last domino to fall.”
The AP report adds: “NBC’s ‘Nightly News’ is being squeezed, with viewers attracted to a lighter news touch heading to ABC and those seeking a more traditional newscast heading to CBS, Tyndall said. There is evidence, however, that under David Muir the past few months ABC’s emphasis on celebrities and other lighter fare is lessening, he said.”