Evening News Ratings: Week of Oct. 7

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight won the evening news ratings race for the week of Oct. 7 among key audience categories of Total Viewers and Adults 25-54.

Anchored by David Muir, ABC’s evening newscast led in both measures for the second consecutive week, beating its NBC competition by +794,000 Total Viewers and by 27,000 Adults 25-54.  World News Tonight widened its Total Viewer victory over the NBC program year to year by +41%, even though the newscast actually lost viewers from last year.

Season to date, World News Tonight ranks No. 1 in Total Viewers at this point of the season for the 4th consecutive year. Yes, the season is still young, but World News is already increasing its lead from last season by +30% (766,000 vs. 587,000) to its largest season lead in 24 years – since the 1995-1996 season.


Nightly News finished in second place behind ABC and ahead of CBS for the second consecutive week, among Total Viewers and in the key Adults 25-54 demographic. Despite the No. 2 finish last week, the Lester Holt-anchored newscast remains No. 1 among the ad-friendly A25-54 set this season to-date.

Last week, Harry Smith interviewed Sen. Bernie Sanders, the first sit-down following his heart attack, for Nightly News.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell remains in third place among the aforementioned audience measurements.

Compared to the same week last year, World News Tonight was -5% in total viewers, and -11% in the key A25-54 demo. NBC Nightly News was -9% in total viewers and -15% among adults 25-54. The CBS Evening News was -17% in total viewers, and -25% among adults 25-54.

It’s worth noting that the broadcast networks sent their respective evening news anchors down to the Florida panhandle to cover the Hurricane Michael that week. This could explain, in part, the significant year-over-year ratings drop off for the evening newsers, particularly among the younger demos, who wouldn’t necessarily tune into the evening news if not for a major breaking news story.

Average audience for the week of Oct. 7 2019:

• Total Viewers: 8,145,000 7,351,000 5,096,000
• A25-54: 1,556,000 1,529,000 954,000



Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD weeks of 10/7/19, and 10/8/18. Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23 – 10/13/19) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24 – 10/14/18). ABC and NBC ratings include broadcasts that air later on some stations. Averages based on regular telecasts.

Note: Nightly News ratings are comprised of telecasts with regular titling and include overnight airings on owned stations.