A year ago, ABC’s World News Tonight was crushing NBC’s Nightly News by a gap of 1.7 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. As it stands today, Lester Holt’s evening news program is within about 900,000 total viewers of David Muir’s. That’s an improvement of about 47% from the chasm this time last year.
NBC News named the producer to lead its “NBC Nightly News,” replacing Jenn Suozzo, who recently departed for a senior role at CNN. In a memo to staffers Thursday, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim cited Rafferty’s “keen news instincts and innovative vision” and indicated she would play a role in helping the newscast not only in its linear edition, but in new formats across digital venues.
ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir again finished the season on top in total viewers and the key demographic, averaging 8.74 million total viewers. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 7.32 million and CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell posted 5.4 million. But all the network evening newscasts saw their viewership drop in 2020-21 versus a year earlier.
Jenn Suozzo, a veteran NBC News producer who has been working as the top producer at NBC Nightly News, will step away from the broadcast and is expected to be the latest high-profile TV-news executive to join CNN’s new CNN+ streaming service, according to a person familiar with the matter.
During their broadcasts on Monday, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS’s Evening News devoted about two minutes each to recounting the latest triumphs and disappointments at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Over on NBC’s Nightly News, however, it was a different story — a much bigger one.
Lester Holt has been named managing editor of NBC Nightly News, which he has anchored since 2015. The announcement of the managing editor title was made by NBC News President Noah Oppenheim. Holt also is said to have signed a contract extension, something that is typical when new titles are announced. Oppenheim wrote in a memo to staffers that “in recognition of Lester’s role driving every aspect of the Nightly News broadcast, he has been named managing editor of Nightly, effective immediately.”
NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt will speak with President-elect Joe Biden in an exclusive interview, Biden’s first since clinching the presidency. The interview will air during Nightly News on Tuesday, and it will tape in Wilmington, Del., earlier in the day.
The network evening news has seen a resurgence during the coronavirus pandemic with an average of 30 million people watching the nightly half-hour telecasts on ABC, CBS and NBC in recent weeks. Around 10 million of them have been turning to Lester Holt, anchor of the NBC Nightly News, who is among the many TV news personalities working from home to protect them from the pandemic. Holt talks about how his job has changed with the massive story.
ABC News’ Good Morning America and World News Tonight both won November sweeps for the first time in 21 years. World News Tonight averaged 8.6 million viewers to edge NBC Nightly News by only 96,000, giving the show its first November sweep win since November 2001 when Peter Jennings sat in the chair currently occupied by David Muir.
Holt, who had been sitting in as NBC Nightly News anchor since Brian Williams was suspended, has officially gotten the job he had all but given up on. With the perch comes the responsibility to lead a news organization that is not only trying to repair its reputation, but also striving to keep pace with a rapidly evolving digital landscape, where the moral authority of a network news anchor has faded.
If there were any doubts about Lester Holt’s new position as the official anchor of NBC Nightly News, his new promotional video puts them to rest
Step No. 1 is Friday, when Brian Williams faces old colleague Matt Lauer for an interview that will be aired on the Today show and Nightly News. It will be Williams’ first time speaking publicly since being suspended in February for telling tales about his reporting experiences.
Williams was suspended in February for falsely claiming he had been in a helicopter hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War. NBC launched an internal investigation that found Williams “made a number of inaccurate statements about his own role and experiences covering events in the field.” “Brian now has the chance to earn back everyone’s trust,” said Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC.
NBC and Williams have come to a tentative agreement that will keep Williams at the network after his six-month suspension ends in August. The decision, described by people with knowledge of the plan, ends months of speculation that Williams could leave NBC altogether. Williams will not be returning to the NBC Nightly News anchor chair. Instead, he will have a new role at MSNBC. His fill-in Lester Holt will become NBC Nightly News’ permanent anchor
The evening news race continues to be highly competitive. NBC Nightly News had the most viewers last week, but ABC World News Tonight brought in the most 25-to-54 viewers, the age group sought by news advertisers.
Vern Gay: “Brian Williams, the once and possibly still future anchor of Nightly News, is now three months into his six-month suspension. And that, dear reader, is the only fact we can verify at this moment. In an effort to clear the air …, let’s ask the questions, and make attempts at some answers. What you are about to read is based on some reporting, and my own hunches. Take my word on this — the people I’ve spoken to do know what they’re talking about; my ‘hunches’ may be the most suspect part of this exercise (so caveat emptor).”
For the first time since Brian Williams was suspended in early February, NBC Nightly News finished second in the evening news ratings race for the week of March 30-April 3. ABC World News Tonight With David Muir won the week.
Despite the turmoil that saw Lester Holt take over the anchor chair for the suspended Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News was No. 1 in first quarter by all the major measures. The newscast averaged 9.51 million total viewers and 2.33 million viewers 25-54 during the first three months of the year, according to Nielsen
NBC will stop airing national commercials during its overnight rebroadcasts of Nightly News after advertisers complained that the network was quietly using the rebroadcasts to bump its ratings. The move means that overnight viewers will no longer be included in Nightly‘s Nielsen ratings.
NBC News is coming under fire from both media buyers and competitors for quietly using late-night rebroadcasts of Nightly News to bump up its ratings totals.
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.
NBC news isn’t seeing any serious collateral ratings damage from suspending anchor Brian Williams over false statements he made about his Iraq reporting.
NBC News worried the credibility of its newscast would be threatened by allowing Brian Williams to keep anchoring NBC Nightly News, so the network suspended him for six months. But it appears the damage had already been done. Viewership for Nightly News plummeted in the first week without Williams, according to Nielsen fast national data.
The Morning Joe host appealed on the air Monday for Williams to be judged, after the current “fury” and social-media “madness” die down, on the totality of his career rather than on one to three “bad mistakes.”
Nielsen says ABC’s World News had 8.46 million viewers while NBC’s Nightly News had just under 8 million on Friday, two days after Williams apologized for telling a false story about being in a helicopter hit by a grenade in Iraq 12 years ago.
The anchor of NBC’s Nightly News last night said he got it wrong when he recounted a 2003 incident in which he said he was in a helicopter that came under enemy fire when he was reporting in Iraq. Instead, Williams said, he was in another helicopter trailing a Chinook that was hit.