In 2 Years the 3 Network Morning Shows Have Lost 1.8M Viewers

By Chris Ariens 

As we’ve been documenting weekly, the three network morning shows have been losing viewers for years. With the May sweeps numbers just out that downward trend continued.

ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today show, and CBS This Morning averaged a combined 11.502 million viewers each day for the month of May. That’s down 1.8 million, or -14 percent, from the 13.332 million average of May 2016.

In the advertiser-friendly A25-54 demo, the three shows drew a combined average of 3.505 million daily viewers, down from 4.480 million, or -22 percent, since May 2016.


In the last 6 months, all three shows have seen anchor shake-ups. NBC and CBS split with their male anchors, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, respectively, following sexual harassment claims. GMA is paring down its anchor team, focusing on Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Michael Strahan as Amy Robach moves to 20/20 and Lara Spencer cuts back her time on the show.

We’ll get the cable news May numbers next week which should tell us whether the networks are losing viewers to cable. It could also be that people are getting their morning news elsewhere, including from local news, digital sites or social platforms.

In terms of finishes: GMA once again won total viewers for the month, for its 6th consecutive May sweep. Today took the demo for the 12th straight sweep. But, again, all three programs lost viewers from May 2017.

The averages for the May, 2018 sweep:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 4.164M / NBC: 4.062M / CBS: 3.276M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 1.246M / NBC: 1.392M / CBS: 867,000