Some good news for Brian Williams – he won the ratings race last week among evening newscasters, in overall audience and in the all-important news demo, even though his Wednesday broadcast included an apology for story fabrication, and his Friday newscast followed NBC’s announcement it was looking into whether he’d creatively re-written his role in other major news events. Talk about great timing — the stats remind brass at the network and parent Comcast, and press covering the Williams controversy, that no matter how vivid his imagination and overly developed sense of drama, Williams is the newscaster this country most likes to watch, and NBC’s only winning news brand.
For what otherwise was a pretty lousy week for Williams, his newscast averaged 10.2 million viewers, besting ABC’s David Muir by 717,000 viewers, and CBS’s Scott Pelley by a whopping 2.3 million. It was Williams’ widest advantage over Muir in four weeks, and over Pelley since Thanksgiving week. Williams averaged more than 10 million viewers on four evenings last week, and is the only newscast in the last eight years to post a weekly average of more than 10 million viewers.
Williams has been the No. 1 evening newscaster in total viewers for 281 consecutive weeks and 328 of the last 329 weeks.
In the all-important news demo, Williams averaged 2.535 million 25-54 year old viewers -– 8% (189,000 viewers) higher than Muir and 40% (720,000 viewers) ahead of Pelley. It was Williams’ third biggest demo delivery this season.
Season to date, Williams’ newscast is averaging 9.346 million total viewers this season, leading Muir by 597,000 viewers and Pelley by 2.028 million. Williams is averaging 2.215 million news demo viewers – 38,000 viewers ahead of Muir and 450,000 and of Pelley.