Week of March 11 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Triumphs in Slower Political News Week

By Mark Mwachiro 

The week of March 4, 2024, was certainly a politics-heavy week, as it was filled with two major events: Super Tuesday and President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. The week following that, the political activity was not as intense. Adding the transition to Daylight Saving Time, the audience drop for the evening newscasts was significant for the week of March 11.

World News Tonight with David Muir remained the No. 1 newscast in all of broadcast and cable in total viewers and the advertiser-coveted demo of Adults 25-54. However, there was also good news for CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell, as it was the only newscast not to experience a week-to-week decline in both of the measured categories.

ABC World News Tonight averaged 7.358 million total viewers for the week of March 11. This was a -6% slide from the previous week (beginning on March 4). The evening newscast averaged 1.035 million viewers from the key A25-54 demo, dropping by -6% from the week before. Looking at the evening news show’s performance to the same week in 2023 (the week beginning March 13), WNT was down in total viewers by -8% and fell by -17% in the A25-54 demo.


In additional good news for WNT, it widened the gap between itself and NBC News’ Nightly News with Lester Holt, marking the largest lead in total viewers in six months and nearly eight months in the demo. The Thursday, March 14, edition of WNT beat Nightly News by its largest lead in total viewers. WNT had 7.657 million total viewers, while Nightly News had 5.787 total viewers on that day (a difference of 1.870 million total viewers). 

Meanwhile, Nightly News was the No. 2 newscast in total viewers this past week, averaging 5.912 million viewers and 801,000 viewers in A25-54. It declined by -7% in total viewers and by -13% in the A25-54 demo compared to the previous week. In addition to that, Nightly News was the only broadcast to see a double-digit fall in either of the measured categories. When looking at its performance in the same week a year ago, Nightly News saw a decline in both total viewers and A25-54, dropping by -12 % and -22%, respectively.

Lastly, the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 4.415 million total viewers for the week of March 11. It decreased by -2% from the previous week and dropped by -10% from the year-ago week. The newscast averaged 645,000 viewers in the demo, which was the same number as the previous week. It saw a drop of -8% when looking at the year-ago week numbers for the demo.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of March 11, 2024:

• Total Viewers: 7,358,000 5,912,000 4,415,000
• A25-54: 1,035,000 801,000 645,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 3/11/24), Previous Week (w/o 3/4/24) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 3/6/23). Most Current Data Stream: 2023-2024 Season (9/25/23 – 3/17/24) and 2022-2023 Season (9/19/22 – 3/12/23). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.