Lester Holt celebrated his first week as permanent anchor of NBC Nightly News with a weekly ratings win. During an exceptionally busy news week that included SCOTUS’s historic ruling on same-sex marriages and a ruling on Obamacare, Holt’s newscast clocked 8.048 million viewers. He wound up 326,000 ahead of David Muir’s ABC World News (7.722 million), and 1.44 million ahead of Scott Pelley’s CBS Evening News (6.608M). Holt’s weekly average for the week of June 22 was Nightly’s biggest crowd in more than two months
In the news demo, Holt averaged 1.970 million viewers, leading ABC by 37,000 and CBS by 497,000. Among 18-49 year olds, Holt’s 1.432 million viewers edged out ABC by 105,000 and CBS by 397,000.
“Before we go: as of tonight this program has a new name and, I’m honored to say, a new anchor,” Lester Holt had said at the end of his first broadcast as official anchor of NBC Nightly News. NBC had, days earlier, announced longtime anchor Brian Williams, suspended in February after making a bogus on-air claim about an experience covering the Iraq War, would be re-assigned to MSNBC when he returns in August, and Holt, who’d been filling in since Williams left the anchor desk, would get the job on a permanent basis.
Meanwhile, ABC World News With David Muir won the 2nd quarter 2015 in overall audience and in the news demo for the first time in eight years. ABC’s newscast topped the pile in total viewers (7.853 million), among adults 25-54 (1.902 million), as well as with adults 18-49 (1.307 million), based on Most Current Data from Nielsen Media Research.
The win marks the third time in the last four quarters the newscast won in the news demo, and its first total viewer and adults 18-49 victory during any quarter since the third quarter of ’07. NBC Nightly News, whose anchor was being investigated internally, clocked 7.810 million viewers aged 2 and up, 1.829 million news demo viewers, and 1.294 million viewers in the younger demo. ABC’s newscast outstripped it in the quarter by 43,000 viewers aged 2 and older, 73,000 news-demo viewers and 13K younger-demo viewers.
Meanwhile, ABC outperformed the CBS Evening News by its largest 2nd quarter margins in three years in overall audience (1.178 million) and in 6 years in the news demo (414,000).