With Lester Holt officially installed as the permanent host of “NBC Nightly News,” the new era for the company’s flagship news program launched on a winning note. The Los Angeles Times reports that the NBC broadcast won the week of June 22-26 in total viewers and in the key news demo of viewers 25-54.
“Holt’s broadcast averaged 8 million viewers for the week of June 22-26, topping ‘ABC World News Tonight with David Muir’ (7.7 million) and ‘CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley’ (6.6 million), according to Nielsen data,” the Times reports, adding: “It was the best ratings performance for ‘Nightly’ since the week of April 20, and the widest margin of victory over ABC’s program in three months.”
The NBC program had a slim advantage of 37,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, the network’s first win in that metric since the week of May 18.
NBC named Holt as the official replacement for Brian Williams on June 18, after Holt had been filling in on a temporary basis since Williams was suspended in February. As we reported recently, Williams was demoted to a new role at MSNBC.
The Times report notes: “Holt clearly benefited from the national press coverage he received for his ascension to the chair. NBC’s decision on Williams also freed the network to run promotional spots for the newscast, something it hasn’t done since Williams’ suspension began.”
ABC, meanwhile, celebrated a quarterly win for “World News Tonight,” as we reported separately.