NEW YORK — While the Peacock’s news division can still claim total victory, CBS and ABC are now both jammed into the No. 2 slot in the evening news race.
In household ratings, both the “CBS Evening News” and ABC’s “World News Tonight” earned an 8.2/16 for the week. NBC still comfortably held the lead with a 9.1 rating and an 18 share.
A CBS spokesperson pointed out that this was “CBS Evening News’ ” best performance versus ABC in a “normal” (non-Olympic) week since Aug. 24, 1992.
CBS has been inching toward ABC in recent months, up 4% compared to the same period last year (from a 7.0/15 to a 7.3/16) while ABC is down 6% from last year (from 8.2/17 to 7.7/17).
“Evening News” exec producer Jeff Fager told Daily Variety he credits the slow rise to “our focus on hard news and having more original reporting in each newscast.”
In Tuesday’s Daily Variety, anchor Dan Rather said he has “no illusions” about what the ratings mean, as “they are bound to go up and down like one of those Wall Street graphs.”
While the ratings are good news for CBS at the moment, NBC pointed out that “Nightly News” has now placed first in total viewers for 15 of the past 16 weeks.
One NBC exec remarked, “I wonder when ABC will stop telling us that more people get their news from ‘ABC News’ than from any other source.”