While Cable Newsers Benefit from Trump Bump, Evening Newscasts Lose 1 Million Viewers

By Chris Ariens Comment

While some cable news shows are seeing record ratings, the three evening newscasts are not benefiting as much from the Trump bump. Compared to February 2016, when much of the coverage was devoted to the presidential primaries, the three evening newscasts lost a combined 1.15 million viewers. (25.843 million in 2016 vs. 24.695 million in 2017).

For the just-completed February sweep, ABC’s World News Tonight is the most-watched newscast. After also winning the November sweep–its first in 15 years–the David Muir-anchored newscast has its first back-to-back sweeps wins in 21 years–since Nov. 1995 and Feb. 1996.

NBC Nightly News won February among younger viewers. The Lester Holt-anchored newscast has finished first in the A25-54 demo for seven consecutive sweep periods and 33 of the last 36 sweeps.

Compared to Feb. 2016, NBC is down -5 percent in viewers and down -8 percent in the demo; ABC is down -3 percent in viewers and down -11 percent in the demo and CBS is down -6 percent in viewers and down -14 percent in the demo.

Numbers for the February 2017 sweep:

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 8,798,000 8,734,000 7,163,000
• A25-54: 1,890,000 2,072,000 1,577,000

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