NBC’s Lester Holt Regains Demo Lead Over David Muir, Even As Viewers Drop

NBC’s Lester Holt is fully back on top in the evening-news wars, taking the lead in the types of viewers advertisers want most from ABC’s David Muir and “World News Tonight.” And yet, NBC’s “Nightly News” lost viewers week over week.

“Nightly News” lured about 9.67 million viewers overall in the five days between February 23 and February 27, according to data from Nielsen, and about 2.463 million viewers between 25 and 54, the demographic most desired by advertisers in news programs.

That’s more than ABC’s “World News,” which attracted around 9.47 million overall and about 2.37 million between 25 and 54 in the same time period, and more than CBS’ “Evening News,” which lured nearly 8.03 million overall and nearly 1.96 million in the 25-to-54 demographic.

In the five days between February 16 and February 20, ABC’s “World News” attracted more viewers between 25 and 54. That measure is no doubt under scrutiny by advertisers as Holt holds forth in the wake of a six-month suspension given to Brian Williams doled out after that anchor admitted falsifying accounts of a 2003 reporting trip he made to Iraq.

Holt’s lead gives NBC News bragging rights, but “Nightly News” lost viewers week over week. The newscast’s overall viewership fell 4.2%, according to Nielsen, while its audience between 25 and 54 fell 3.4%. Rivals also lost audience. Overall viewership for “World News” fell 2.3% and viewers between 25 and 54 fell 7.7%. Overall viewership for CBS’ “Evening News” fell 5.6% week over week, while viewership in the 25-to-54 demographic fell 3.64%, according to the Nielsen data.

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