What Will Nightline’s Scoops & Growth Mean For the Newscast?

By Chris Ariens 

The LATimes’ Meg James writes about the latest Nightline scoop and what it might mean as ABC considers wooing Jay Leno.

“The company will make the decision based on what’s best for the company,” said ABC News president David Westin. “I am hopeful that ‘Nightline’ will continue to prosper. It’s important for the news division to have the strongest alternative that we possibly can, based on the strength of the work that we are doing and the ratings that we are achieving.”

James writes, “during this year’s intensely competitive news season, ‘Nightline’ has been on a scoop tear.”

• Terry Moran interviewed Sen. Barack Obama in March, on the night of the Democratic presidential candidate’s high-profile speech on race.

• Last week Kate Snow interviewed Bill Clinton, who defended his role in his wife’s primary campaign.

• Thursday it ran a story on Michelle Obama.

• Friday it had Bob Woodruff’s interview with John Edwards.

“There was a widely held perception that the show would fail without Ted Koppel,” says EP James Goldston. “Very few people thought the show would survive, and even fewer thought it would thrive.”

Earlier: In the last four weeks — Nightline beats, beats, beats and ties Letterman…