Charlie Gibson drew a rare but decisive win over Brian Williams in the ratings last week as ABC makes a February sweeps push for “World News.”
Helped by a strong lead-in from its local affiliates, ABC won the week in total viewers, adults 25-54 and households — its first weekly win over NBC’s “Nightly News” in seven months.
ABC’s “World News” averaged 9.7 million viewers during the week, its best total-viewer perf in two years, while NBC averaged 9.5 million and CBS nearly 8 million, according to Nielsen Media Research.
“Charlie has taken ownership over the broadcast,” said “World News” exec producer Jon Banner. “It has taken a while for the audience to figure out he’s anchoring ‘World News’ and not ‘GMA.’ ”
ABC’s margin of 180,000 viewers over NBC was assisted by a lead-in of 9.4 million viewers, 700,000 more than NBC’s lead-in of 8.7 million.
“Nightly News” increased 10% off its lead-in, while “World News” increased 3%.
Season to date, the margin between first-place NBC and second-place ABC is 521,000 viewers.
Still third, Katie Couric also had a big week. Her average of 8 million was her highest for CBS’ “Evening News” since her debut in September.
In the morning, ABC’s “Good Morning America” drew a rare win over NBC’s “Today” on Monday, the day of Diane Sawyer’s exclusive interview with Ira-nian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.