ABC News Shows are All Down

By Chris Ariens 

Now that the music has stopped on the musical chairs that is ABC News, Media Life Magazine takes a look at the ratings for “World News”, “Good Morning America” and “This Week.”

Since [Diane] Sawyer joined “World News” in December, the show’s season average has fallen by about 300,000 viewers, to just over 8 million, according to Nielsen.

Meanwhile, “GMA” has seen NBC’s “Today” gain its biggest first-quarter lead in six years. “GMA” averaged 4.46 million total viewers, down 4 percent from last year, though the 2009 numbers did include a big bump in viewership for the inauguration.

And “This Week,” which beat NBC’s “Meet the Press” for the first time in years last summer under Stephanopoulos, has slid to third place behind “Press” and “Face the Nation” without a permanent host.

Interim “This Week” host Jake Tapper, who’ll be in the chair for several more months, took the show to second place last week. Coming off NBC’s Olympic bump “World News” has closed the demo gap with “Nightly News” for four consecutive weeks to the smallest margin since before Sawyer took over. And the new “GMA” team is performing slightly better than the previous team, season-to-date, compared to last year. And there’s this:

ABC is hardly the only network suffering that problem. “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric’s” average has also fallen since December. “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” is up, but credit for that goes to the Olympics, when viewership swelled to its highest level in years. NBC’s “Today” is up 1 percent over last year, thanks partly to the Olympics bump, but CBS’s “The Early Show” is off even more than “GMA.”