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‘CBS Evening News’ Makes Gains, While ‘NBC Nightly News’ and ‘ABC World News’ Drop

Two of the three evening newscasts seem to be suffering from the same affliction affecting cable news channels: a viewership retreat. (We’ll have the Q2 cable ratings later this afternoon).

In the just-finished second quarter of 2012, “NBC Nightly News” and “ABC World News, the #1 and #2 programs, lost a combined 1.203 million Total Viewers vs Q2 2011, while the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” has gained viewers vs. Q2 ’11, when, for the most part, the program was anchored by Katie Couric. That show had nowhere to go but up.

The evening newscasts benefited from a very busy news cycle in Q2 2011 which saw the three newscasts gain 1.5 million viewers vs. Q2 2010. But even going back three years, to Q2 2009, NBC and ABC are down, while CBS is up.

“NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” remains the most-watched newscast averaging more than +800,000 more viewers than “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer,” and +2.2 million more than Pelley’s “Evening News.”

Numbers for Q2 2012:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total: 7,879,000 7,074,000 5,644,000
• A25-54: 2,127,000 1,849,000 1,631,000

Numbers for Q2 2011:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total: 8,511,000 7,645,000 5,597,000
• A25-54: 2,553,000 2,035,000 1,693,000

Numbers for Q2 2010:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total: 7,620,000 6,990,000 5,210,000
• A25-54: 2,260,000 1,980,000 1,600,000

Numbers for Q2 2009

NBC ABC CBS
• Total: 8,060,000 7,260,000 5,550,000
• A25-54: 2,400,000 2,060,000 1,630,000
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