NBC News and ABC News duked it out today, each claiming its newscast had won the second quarter in the news demo. It all started when ABC boasted early today that the second quarter was the last full quarter in which Diane Sawyer will be its anchor — and she won! It was ABC World News’ first quarterly demo win in more than six years, a great way for Sawyer to bow out. Sawyer announced recently she’s stepping down as anchor of the newscast; David Muir is taking her place on the evening newscast, George Stephanopoulos has been named ABC News’ Chief Anchor.
Not so fast, responded NBC News — or words to that effect. Brian Williams‘ NBC Nightly News won the quarter in overall audience and in the news demo, the division claimed. Williams clocked 1.951 million viewers in the 25-54 news bracket, to Sawyer’s average of 1.942 million demo viewers.
ABC maintains Di snagged an average of 1.98 million demo viewers, and Brian Williams logged 1.964 million.
Edward Snowden was very good to NBC News. The week in which the news division aired Brian Williams’ exclusive interview with Snowden,NBC Nightly News was the country’s most-watched newscast and was tops in all key demos — including a win in the news demo, where ABC is taking over ground. Nightly beat ABC World News by 101,000 news demo viewers for the week ending May 30. For comparison sake, the previous week NBC’s newscast lost to ABC, by 106,000 viewers. NBC’s evening news has fallen behind ABC’s in the news demo five of the past eight weeks.
For the week, Nightly widened its total viewer gap over ABC by 73% compared with the previous week.
Nightly clocked its biggest crowd Tuesday night, when it unveiled the first excerpts of Williams’ exclusive Snowden interview, in advance of Wednesday’s primetime Snowden chat special. ABC noted that World News With Diane Sawyer actually outdrew NBC Nightly News by 63,000 demo viewers (2.209 million vs. 2.146 million) that night. But Nightly logged the biggest week-to-week increases in total viewers (3%, or +257,000) and A25-54 viewers (12%, or +214,000) among the broadcast evening newsasts. About half of Nightly‘s overall audience gains came in the 18-49 demo, which NBC’s newscast typically dominates … Read More »
The day after ABC News announced its World News anchor Diane Sawyer had landed an exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton about her new book, NBC News trumped that with the announcement its Nightly News anchor Brian Williams had traveled to Moscow for an exclusive sit-down with Edward Snowden — the former NSA contractor’s first American interview since revealing NSA information to the press.
The hour-long interview will air as a primetime special on Wednesday, May 28 at 10 PM ET. Williams’ rare in-person conversation with Snowden was conducted over the course of several hours; the network says it was “shrouded in secrecy due to Snowden’s life in exile since leaking classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs a year ago.” For the special, Williams also interviewed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald jointly about how they came to work together and the global debate sparked by their revelations.
NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams was the country’s most-watched newscast last week, but ABC World News With Diane Sawyer triumphed in the adults 25-54 demo by 83,000 viewers, besting NBC’s newscast four out of five weeknights in the age bracket sold to advertisers. NBC led the pack in overall crowd, with an average of 8.423 million viewers — 11% (830,000 viewers) ahead of ABC (7.593 million) and 29% (1.908 million) ahead of CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley (6.515 million). Nightly has won in total viewers for 244consecutive weeks, and in 291 of the past 292 weeks.
In the news demo, ABC clocked 2.07 million viewers, to NBC’s 1.987 million and CBS’ 1.648 mil. Sawyer’s lead over Williams varied wildly across the week, from Monday’s 204,000 viewer advantage to Friday’s 14,000 squeaker. On Wednesday, Williams bested Sawyer by 41,000 demo viewers. NBC’s newscast also continued to finish first in the younger, 18-49 demo, averaging 1.529 million viewers — 8% ahead of ABC (107,000 viewers) and 29% (344,000) ahead of CBS. Read More »
NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams turned around the demo gap week-to-week to top ABC World News With Diane Sawyer in all key categories last week. Nightly logged 8.249 million viewers – 647,000 more than ABC (7.602 million) and 1.98 million more than CBS Evening News (6.281 million). In the news demo, Nightly averaged 1.970 million viewers – 38,000 ahead of ABC (1.932 million) and 467,000 ahead of CBS (1.503 million). Season to date, Nightly noted it’s posting its largest total-viewer advantage over ABC since the 2009-10 TV season. (ABC notes its newscast has cut its year-to-year demo margin with NBC by 88%, from 32,000 to 38,000). The NBC newscast has held the top spot in total viewers for 241 consecutive weeks, and in the younger adults 18-49 demo for 298 consecutive weeks.
For the first time in more than six years, ABC’s World News With Diane Sawyer beat NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams in the news demo for a second consecutive week. Last time it happened it wasn’t “with Diane Sawyer” because Charlie Gibson was anchoring back in March of ’08 when ABC’s newscast last enjoyed two weeks of demo ratings wins.. Sawyer took over as anchor in December of 2009. The week of April 14, ABC’s newscast also posted its largest victory over NBC’s in that 25-54 age bracket in more than five years. Sawyer’s newscast beat Williams’ by 85,000 demo viewers. One week earlier, Sawyer’s win was by a slim 12,000 demo viewers. ABC’s newscast bested NBC in head-to-head competition on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday during the week of April 14. Read More »
Jimmy Fallon introduced his latest Brian Williams video on The Tonight Show — this time the newsman rapped Snoop Dogg’s classic “Gin And Juice“. After the performance, the NBC Nightly News anchor stopped by to complain about this and all previous videos: “I’m downstairs, I’m doing the [Nightly News] broadcast that pays for your ‘hobby,’ and people think I have somehow colluded into the making of these videos. Let’s be clear– I’ve never said ‘hippity’.”
NBC News will present a two-day cross-platform event, Forgotten? Syria’s Children Of War: A Live Documentary, on Tuesday and Wednesday. More than 5 million Syrian children have had their lives scarred by conflict, the news division says, including children displaced inside the country, another million living under seige and a million who are now refugees. The project will span Today, NBC Nightly News, NBCNews.com and social media, creating what the division is calling a “live documentary” — aka a continuous stream of reports from inside and outside Syria’s borders. From the announcement: Read More »
NBC correspondent Miguel Almaguer had to be rescued by firefighters after he became stuck in waist-high mud in Azusa, CA Friday afternoon. Almaguer had waded into a thick stream of mud at the site of a hillside mudslide to deliver his report on this week’s heavy L.A. area storm in an NBC Nightly News segment with in-studio anchor Brian Williams. Emergency crews then dug Almaguer out before authorities evacuated the neighborhood:
Arsenio Hall took a victory lap on his show last night and insisted Suge Knight had gone off script the night before when he said Brian Williams had “so many hours” to apologize for omitting Hall’s photo from a recent newscast or “he leaves”. Hall’s program last night aired hours after Williams apologized on NBC Nightly News for leaving Hall’s photo out of a montage of late-night hosts the newscast had run on Monday while plugging Jimmy Fallon’s debut as host of NBC’s Tonight Show.
“A lot of people apparently called NBC last night on my behalf. Well, it worked — we crashed the switchboard!” Hall boasted to his studio audience and viewers at home last night. Hall insisted Knight had gone off script the previous night when Hall brought him out on stage to be the “angry black man” with a message to NBC News and Williams about the snub. “I didn’t know who to call — I’m from the neighborhood, so I called Suge Knight and he stopped by and delivered a message to journalists.” But the message was directed at Williams with Knight telling Hall, “You’re the West Coast; we’re gonna give him so many days, so many hours, to get it right,” adding that if Williams does not, “he leaves.” Read More »
Brian Williams apologized on the NBC Nightly News from Sochi tonight, to syndicated late-night host Arsenio Hall after NBC News left Hall’s photo off a Brady Bunch-esque photo montage of late-night stars. The montage was part of NBC News’ walk-up story Monday on NBC star Jimmy Fallon’s debut as new host of NBC’s Tonight Show. Naturally, the graphic included photos of of NBC-parent Comcast’s late-night stars: Chelsea Handler — Andy Cohen got the middle square — and even Carson Daly was included (NBC’s new “Late Night” host Seth Meyers was not in the montage, but he doesn’t debut til Monday). Also in the collection: CBS’ Dave Letterman and Craig Ferguson; ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel; former NBC star Conan O’Brien, who is now on TBS; as well as Comedy Central stars Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. In a voice-over, Williams was heard talking about all the media types “slugging it out for the turf Johnny Carson used to own.”
Tonight, in bringing up the montage, Williams said: “Arsenio is a late-night veteran and he took us to task on his show. He even urged audience members to call our newsroom.” Later, Williams added conciliatorily: “So, in apologizing to Arsenio we just wanted to point out that at least you’re in good company here.” Last July, Williams noted, NBC News left the state of New Hampshire off a map and had to apologize to a U.S. senator, and just last night on the broadcast they spelled the name of the City of Brotherly Love as PHILADELPIA. “So, chalk it up to being on the air at 4 AM in the morning in Russia — but it won’t happen again,” Williams promised. Read More »
4th UPDATE, 4:31 PM: NBC, ABC and CBS and cable news networks CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC intend to go early, long and live with the Nelson Mandela memorial tomorrow morning. Broadcasting the NBC Nightly News tonight and Tuesday from Pretoria, Brian Williams will front the network and MSNBC’s coverage of the memorial at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium starting at 1 AM PT. Among the heads of state in attendance, President Obama, who traveled to South Africa today with the First Lady, is scheduled to speak. Former Presidents Carter, Bush II and Clinton will be there too as will former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Obama will fly back to the U.S. later in the day. ABC’s Good Morning America hosts George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts will anchor their network’s special report coverage at the same time from NYC with Terry Moran and Byron Pitts reporting from South Africa. CBS’ Anne-Marie Green will cover the memorial from New York during the network’s Up To The Minute show in the early hours. All the nets plan to stream the memorial on their websites and platforms.
You have to give Brian Williams credit for his the-show-must-go-on effort when his opening on last night’s NBC Nightly News was interrupted by a fire alarm inside the newscast’s new studio. Luckily for East Coast viewers, the story on the American Airlines bankruptcy called for a toss to reporter Tom Costello in Washington DC, where the alarm wasn’t a factor. Williams retaped the segment for the West Coast, which didn’t get to share in the fun.
Today will be Chelsea Clinton’s first day of work as an NBC News special correspondent. The daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton will handle pieces that NBC Nightly News will use for its “Making A Difference” segment that focuses on people who do volunteer work, as well as segments for Rock Center With Brian Williams. Reportedly, she’ll donate her NBC salary to the Clinton Foundation and George Washington University Hospital. Hiring Chelsea may further fuel GOP claims that NBC is soft on Democrats, but NBC already employs Jenna Bush and Meghan McCain. This is an intriguing career choice for Chelsea because she has spent much of her adult life stiff-arming the press: When she made public appearances during her mother’s presidential campaign in 2008, Chelesa refused to answer questions from reporters — although she did respond to those from audience members. She also seems to have a full plate outside of NBC: After working at a management consulting company and a hedge fund, Clinton is going for a doctorate degree at Oxford University. She works at New York University, the Clinton Foundation, and the Clinton Global Initiative. And in September she joined the board of Barry Diller’s IAC. Here’s NBC’s release:
November 14, 2011 — New York, N.Y. — Chelsea Clinton is teaming up with “Rock Center with Brian Williams” and “NBC Nightly News” as a Special Correspondent, the network announced today. Clinton’s role with the shows and the network will be to highlight stories within the “Making a Difference” franchise. “Making a Difference” segments have a history of profiling organizations and individuals who represent the best of what works in the United States and around the world, frequently emphasizing stories about everyday people doing extraordinary things.
Meredith Vieira, who announced in May that she was retiring from her job as Today co-host and signed off in June, isn’t settled into her rocking chair just yet. NBC News said today that Vieira has been named a special correspondent on Rock Center With Brian Williams, the network’s new primetime newsmagazine hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Williams that will premiere in midseason. As part of her new deal, Vieira also will contribute to Today, NBC Nightly News and other network programming including coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. NBC News president Steve Capus made the announcement today and said Vieira starts her job immediately. The network unveiled the name Rock Center this week; the hourlong show has Rome Hartman executive producing and Harry Smith and Kate Snow already aboard as correspondents.