It is undeniably true that over the last few decades, the viewership levels for the network evening newscasts have been slowly declining. But as Kansas City Star TV critic and columnist Aaron Barnhart writes, there may yet be some life in the format:
Viewership for the four network newscasts has actually increased by more than 1 million since 2006. Yes, four newscasts: I have included “Fox Report With Shepard Smith” because the Fox News Channel, alone among cable networks, has a newscast of record and because it’s an option for viewers repelled by Couric’s so-called liberal slant.
Viewership over the half-decade has gone down at the two networks with female anchors and up at the two networks with male anchors. In fairness to Diane Sawyer, “ABC World News Tonight” lost a lot of its audience in the waning months of Charlie Gibson’s time there, and her audience has actually leaped up by 1.2 million viewers in 2011.