This week marks the 40th anniversary of the day a 25 year old woman named Jane Pauley became co-anchor of the Today show. Armed with decades of reporting and anchoring experience, Pauley now assumes full-time anchor duties for CBS Sunday Morning, taking the torch from Charles Osgood. Pauley’s debut episode as anchor was this past Sunday, and it delivered a solid year-over-year ratings performance.
Sunday Morning earned 5.66 million total viewers on October 9th, +12 percent from the same Sunday in 2015, but down 3 percent from the program’s early season to-date total viewer average (5.81 million). The episode delivered 1.41 million A25-54 viewers, +27 percent year-over-year, but also down 3 percent from the season to-date average (1.45 million). This slight season to-date decline is understandable considering those were Osgood’s final few episodes anchoring the program. Additionally, Sunday Morning was preempted in four markets that were impacted by Matthew: Orlando, Raleigh, Norfolk and Jacksonville. Nevertheless, the year-over-year improvement is strong.
Sunday’s episode featured Pauley’s interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Major Garrett’s report on the debate, and Mark Strassmann’s story on Hurricane Matthew, to name a few.
CBS Sunday Morning is seeing double-digit improvement this season to-date from 2015-2016, and has been TV’s most-watched Sunday morning news program for 16 consecutive broadcast seasons.