Ordinary Ratings for Diane Sawyer’s Evening Start

By Andrew Gauthier 

The New York Times

In Diane Sawyer‘s first week as an evening news anchor, her “World News” on ABC remained firmly in second place among the broadcast networks, roughly 800,000 viewers behind the “NBC Nightly News,” according to The Nielsen Company.

Importantly for ABC, it did not see any decline in viewers when Ms. Sawyer replaced Charles Gibson at the anchor desk. On the contrary, ABC saw a slight increase in its news audience. ABC’s anchor moves were accompanied by a scrupulous and clearly conscious lack of fanfare, Bill Carter noted earlier this month.


All three evening newscasts were only rated for three days the week of Dec. 21 due to the Christmas holiday. On those three days, “NBC Nightly News,” anchored by Brian Williams, had an average of 9.37 million viewers. ABC’s “World News,” anchored by Ms. Sawyer, had an average of 8.56 million viewers. The normally third-place “CBS Evening News,” anchored by Katie Couric, had an average of 6.16 million viewers. More…