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Evening News Ratings: Week of September 24

Leading into a presidential election, one might think the tune-in to the evening news programs would increase. But one would be wrong. While the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” showed year over year growth in Total Viewers (+4%) “Nightly News with Brian Williams” and “World News with Diane Sawyer” are both down compared to the same week last year. All three shows are down in younger viewers year-over-year.

The three evening newscasts drew a combined 20.97 million viewers last week. At this same point in 2008, six weeks before the last presidential election, 22.04 million watched the three newscasts — down -5%. In the A25-54 demo the broadcasts are down -22%. The week of Sept. 22, 2008 included congressional action on the bailout and Katie Couric‘s (then with CBS News) interview with GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin.

That week in 2008, by the way, was won by “World News with Charles Gibson.” Four years later, Diane Sawyer’s “World News” came within 42,000 viewers of Williams’ “Nightly News” — the closest since the week of Sept. 7, 2009, when “World News” was also #1.

Numbers for the week of September 24:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total Viewers: 7,430,000 7,388,000 6,152,000
• A25-54: 2,002,000 1,802,000 1,648,000
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