What Ben Sherwood Inherits: ‘GMA,’ ‘World News,’ ‘This Week,’ and ‘Nightline’ by the Numbers

By Chris Ariens Comment

Ben Sherwood not only inherits from David Westin (right at ABC News HQ this morning) a smaller ABC News staff then the one he left four years ago, he’ll also be overseeing the network’s big money news shows which have all seen a transformation over the last year; and in most cases ratings declines.

Late last year, Charles Gibson’s departure set the revolving door in motion: Diane Sawyer left “Good Morning America” for “World News”; George Stephanopoulos left “This Week” for “GMA” and Christiane Amanpour left CNN for “This Week.”

So how have those shows been doing?

“Good Morning America” (12/14/09-11/28/10)

“GMA” is averaging 4.257 million total viewers, flat versus the same period during the prior year (12/15/08-11/29/09). In the A25-54 demo, GMA is delivering 1.723 million viewers, -5% (-100,000 viewers) from a year ago.

“World News with Diane Sawyer” (12/20/09-11/28/10)

“World News” is averaging 7.367 million total viewers, down -4% versus the same period during the prior year (12/22/08-11/29/09). In A25-54 viewers, World News is delivering 2.054 million viewers, -8% (-182,000) versus year ago.

“This Week with Christiane Amanpour” (8/1/10-11/28/10)

This Week is averaging 2.245 million total viewers, down -17% versus the same period last year (8/2/09-11/29/09), the biggest decline of any Public Affairs program. In A25-54 viewers, This Week is delivering 737,000 viewers, down -14% (-117,000) versus year ago.

The one bright spot is ABC’s “Nightline” the late-night newscast which has dominated its competition, NBC’s “Tonight Show” and CBS’s “Late Show” for much of the fall. The show is also having its best season in 17 years. In fact, “Nightline” was #1 for November sweeps in Total Viewers and the two younger demos: A18-49 and A25-54 — the first time that’s happened since November 1993.