Diane Sawyer Goes Out on Top: ABC News Wins Key News Demo for Seventh Time in Eight Weeks as Longtime Anchor Readies for New Role

Aug 26, 2014  •  Post A Comment

As CBS and NBC both got encouraging numbers for their respective evening news programs last week, ABC and Diane Sawyer rolled to another weekly win in what may have been Sawyer’s final full week before she moves on to a new role at ABC News.

Variety reports that Sawyer’s “World News” won the key news demo of viewers 25-54 for the seventh time in the past eight weeks. “Also of note in another good week for the evening newscasts across the board, CBS logged its top-rated week of the summer while NBC remained on top in total viewers and averaged more than 8 million viewers for the first time since June,” the report adds.

Sawyer wrapped up what is thought to be her last full week as anchor of “World News,” with David Muir waiting to move into the spot, the story notes. Sawyer’s last day has not been announced, but she is expected to wrap things up sometime this week.

As we reported back in June, Sawyer is expected to focus on prime-time specials for ABC News. At the time the news broke, we noted that Muir, who will continue to co-anchor “20/20” along with Elizabeth Vargas, was expected to take over the flagship evening news broadcast Sept. 2. However, ABC has yet to officially announce the date.

Variety notes: “According to Nielsen, the evening newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC combined for 21.9 million viewers last week, matching the previous week as the most of the summer. The death of Robin Williams was big news a couple of weeks ago, and the busy news cycle last week included the protests in Ferguson and the murder of James Foley.”

In adults 25-54, ABC’s “World News” led the way with 1.918 million viewers, just ahead of NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” (1.860 million), followed by “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” (1.635 million).

“The ABC newscast has won in adults 25-54 for the seventh time in the eight weeks since the news of Sawyer’s exit first surfaced (including some weeks with Muir in the anchor seat), and is delivering its top-rated season to date in the demo in three years. ‘World News’ was the leader for the second quarter as well, and notched back-to-back sweeps victories in the demo (May and July) for the first time in seven years,” Variety notes.

“NBC Nightly News” was No. 1 in total viewers with 8.025 million, ahead of ABC’s “World News” (7.325 million) and “CBS Evening News” (6.532 million).

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Diane Sawyer

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