NBC’s Nightly News trumped both its rivals in nabbing eyeballs in the last week, according to the latest Nielsen data. The victory came even as the NBC newscast lost some of the most important viewers — the kind advertisers covet.
The Chicken Littles who squawked that the sky was falling after Lester Holt’s first week filling in for Brian Williams behind the NBC Nightly News desk have fallen silent, as the Feb. 16 to Feb. 20 newscasts put up huge ratings. Holt’s second week as the Nightly News anchor averaged 10.1 million viewers, per Nielsen figures, only the fourth time this season that NBC has reached that milestone. No other nightly newscast has hit that mark in eight seasons.
Along with anchoring NBC Nightly News, perhaps the biggest job in television news, Lester Holt will also continue to helm the weekend edition of NBC Nightly News and host Dateline, reminding some that he was once nicknamed Iron Pants for his willingness to work seemingly nonstop.
By Friday night, Holt will have anchored NBC’s nightly newscast for seven days in a row. And no one will be filling in for him this weekend.
On Wednesday evening, the Radio Television Digital News Foundation honored Gannett’s David Lougee, NBC News’ Lester Holt, ABC News’ Robin Sproul, CBS News’ Bill Plante and The Associated Press for their commitment to press freedoms at the 24th Annual First Amendment Awards Dinner in Washington.
The recipients of the First Amendment Awards presented annually by the Radio Television Digital News Foundation are Gannett Co.’s David Lougee, NBC News’ Lester Holt, ABC News’ Robin Sproul and the Associated Press’ Gary Pruitt. In addition, CBS News’ Bill Plante will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The ceremony takes place in Washington on March 12, 2014.
The NBC News veteran will keep his job as co-anchor of the Weekend Today show while replacing Ann Curry on the newsmagazine.