Today Executive Producer Libby Leist Gives Her Take on Why Morning Show Ratings Are Down

By A.J. Katz 

It’s now common knowledge in television news circles that ratings for broadcast TV’s morning shows are declining on an annual basis. Why is this happening, and are those in charge concerned about this trend?

Today show executive producer Libby Leist –who is being honored by Adweek as one of its Women Trailblazers for 2019– addressed those pesky ratings in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Leist also spoke about her unique career path, and covering President Trump during the Q&A.

THR: Ratings for all three morning news programs are down. Is it the migration of viewers to different platforms or something else?

LEIST: There is so much diversification in what people can watch — so one thing I think a lot about now is how to distribute what we’re doing on the broadcast [to other platforms, like the NBC News streaming service that launched May 29]. We do a lot of coordination with MSNBC, our social platforms, even NBC Entertainment, making sure they know about our interviews. I’m on the phone more.

THR: And are you concerned?

LEIST: There are still 4 million people that watch every day. But you would be crazy if you said, “Yeah, it’s great!” (Laughs.) It’s the industry trend. You still want to maintain your focus on the ratings. Our gap is the smallest it’s been in seven years with [GMA], so that makes me happy.