Rather’s Sign-Off Gets Strong Ratings

Mar 15, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The official turnout of viewers for Dan Rather’s last night as anchor of “CBS Evening News” was 10.38 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Mr. Rather’s sign-off Wednesday, March 9, drew the largest number of viewers of the three broadcast networks’ flagship newscasts and also ranked first–with a 3.1 rating/11 share among viewers 25 to 54, the key news demographic–on his farewell night.

In comparison, “NBC Nightly News” attracted 9.29 million viewers and scored a 1.5 rating/9 share in the demo on March 9, while “ABC World News Tonight” registered 8.90 million viewers and a 2.7/10 in the demo.

While the March 9 showing was “Evening News'” best since Feb. 25, 2003, the newscast finished the week in third place as usual, with an average of 8.11 million viewers.

“Nightly News” was first for the week in overall audience with 9.81 million viewers, while “World News” averaged 9.63 million viewers.

Meanwhile, “World News” released data showing that it had, for the second consecutive week, surpassed “Nightly News” in total number of viewers 25 to 54. For the week ending March 4, “World News” averaged 3.56 million viewers in the 25 to 54 demo, compared with “Nightly News'” 3.49 million.

The week ended March 11, the ABC margin doubled to 100,000 with “World News” averaging 3.41 million viewers to “Nightly News'” 3.31 million. “Evening News” logged 8.11 million 25- to 54-year-olds. Those scores are up 8 percent year to year for ABC, down 4 percent year to year for NBC and up 5 percent for CBS.

However, year-to-year comparisons for total viewership the week ended March 11 show “NBC Nightly News” down 5 percent, “ABC World News Tonight” down 3 percent and “CBS Evening News” up 9 percent.