Monday, February 1, 2010

NBC News is #1

NBC News President Steve Capus and "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams at Winter TCA Tour, January 10, 2010 in Pasadena, CA.

NBC News dominates the Morning, Nightly and Sunday Morning News programs. Fox News dominates cable. It seems America is as split on their TV News shows as they are about their politics. While both News outlets would argue they are independent -- it can be argued that Fox leans to the right, and NBC News leans toward the left. And both would protest not so.....

From Huffington Post:

NBC News is coming off one of its most successful years ever and is poised to expand on that success in 2010. The network is home to the #1 program in the morning ("Today"), the evening ("Nightly News"), and on Sundays ("Meet the Press), and as ABC has initiated anchor changes across all three of those timeslots, NBC's programs haven't lost steam.

"Nightly News with Brian Williams"
In the November sweeps, for instance, "Nightly News with Brian Williams" averaged 9.167 million total viewers, an 11% advantage over "World News" (its best since 2005). In the A25-54 demo, "Nightly' saw its best advantage over "World News" since 2002, averaging 2.770 A25-54 viewers for a 17% advantage. "Nightly" also had its best share ever during the November sweeps, with 38.8% of the network news audience choosing Williams' broadcast, and was the only one of the three network newscasts to grow year-over-year.

Of course, Diane Sawyer replaced Charlie Gibson as "World News" anchor in December; but since then, "Nightly" has only increased its lead, growing to a regular audience of over 10 million viewers and beating "World News" by 16% in total viewers and 26% in the A25-54 demo over the first five weeks of Sawyer's tenure.

"Today"
In the morning, the "Today" show brand is as strong as ever, with ratings to match. The show is #1 across all key demos and was the only morning network news show to grow year-over-year (ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS' "Early Show" were down or flat in all demographics). "Today" — which in 2008-2009 topped "GMA" by 25% in total viewers, 33% in Women 18-49, and 26% in Women 25-54 — has increased its lead over "GMA" to over 1.3 million viewers from 7-9 AM.

Even after 9AM, the "Today" show continues to grow; from 9-10AM, the show is up 8% in total viewers and 7% in W25-54, now beating ABC's "Live! with Regis and Kelly" for the first time (by 5%). And the 10AM hour featuring Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb has benefitted from what Capus calls "the 'SNL' effect," growing 9% in total viewers and 13% among W25-54 ("SNL" regularly parodies the broadcast).

Sunday mornings are perhaps where NBC was most vulnerable, with Tim Russert's sudden death in June 2008 casting the dominance of the "Meet the Press" franchise in serious doubt. But Capus describes David Gregory's performance in 2009 as a stabilizing one; with few but notable exceptions, "Meet the Press" regularly topped ABC's "This Week" (along with CBS' "Face the Nation" and "FOX News Sunday") for the Sunday morning crown.

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