Norah O’Donnell’s ‘CBS Evening News’ Debut Steady In Viewers, Down In Demo

Norah O'Donnell
Michele Crowe/CBS

Norah O’Donnell’s debut as anchor of CBS Evening News drew 5.61 million total viewers Monday, on par with the newscast’s numbers in the recently ended second quarter and year-over-year but lower in viewers and the key news demo compared with this season’s averages.

The broadcast, featuring a sit-down with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos about his space ambitions and reporting on the backlash over President Donald Trump’s controversial tweets, attracted 929,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen. That was down 24% from a year ago and 22% compared with the 2019 year-to-date average.

While up 2% in viewers from the non-debut week before, Monday’s viewership was off 6% compared with the 2019 average.

Monday’s numbers hewed more closely to the broadcast’s averages for the just-ended second quarter: 5.47M viewers and 1.047M in the news demo.

Year to date, CBS Evening News averages 5.96 million total viewers and 1.18M demo viewers. But it has long ranked third among the Big 3 newscasts behind ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC’s NBC Nightly News. (In Q2, ABC led in average viewers with 8.17M and was edged by NBC in the demo 1.575M-1.574M.)

O’Donnell, the former CBS This Morning co-anchor and White House correspondent, took over the anchor and CBS News managing editor position from Jeff Glor, who signed off on his final broadcast May 10. The broadcast is prepping for a fall move from New York to Washington, D.C.

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