Reliable Sources Gushes Over Sawyer, No Mention of GMA's Ratings
Howard Kurtz opened Sunday's "Reliable Sources" with a lovefest for the promotion of ABC's Diane Sawyer to replace Charles Gibson on "World News Tonight."
Mysteriously, there was absolutely no discussion about how Sawyer's "Good Morning America" is constantly second in the ratings to NBC's "Today" show, nor was there mention of how Katie Couric regularly bested Sawyer in the morning but has been a ratings disaster since taking over the "CBS Evening News."
That didn't stop Kurtz and his guests from talking about Sawyer's promotion as if it was sheer genius (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 11:30):
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Brian Williams remains number one at "NBC Nightly News." Do you think that Diane not just with her presence and her experience and her star power maybe what she'll do with that broadcast could make a run at becoming number one.
TINA BROWN, DAILY BEAST: I really think she could because the thing about Diane is she's a very kind of gifted show-runner is the truth. I mean, you know she really does micromanage pretty much every aspect of her, of her broadcast. Always has. So I think she's going to bring a lot of imagination and a lot of insight and a lot of interesting thoughts and and notions really to how that broadcast can be really revved up. And I think you're going to see a tough competition now in that slot.
Really? What gives you that idea?
After all, Sawyer's "GMA" last week got trounced by the "Today" show as reported by TVbytheNumbers.com:
NBC News’ “Today” continues as the dominant morning news program topping the competition in all categories. For the week ending August 30, “Today” was No. 1 with more than 5.1 million total viewers – a 1.4 million (+38%) lead over GMA, and a 2.6 million (+107%) lead over “The Early Show.” This week’s win marks “Today’s” 716th consecutive week in first place. The week marked “Today’s” biggest total viewer win of the current season and the largest total viewer advantage over GMA since April 28, 2008 (excluding the Beijing Olympics and holiday-impacted weeks).
Hmmm. So Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera beat Diane by 1.4 million viewers last week.
And, if you consider that "Today" has been number one for 716 consecutive weeks, that means Katie regularly beat Diane, too.
Yet Katie is getting killed by Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams:
According to Nielsen Media Research data, “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” was the most-watched network evening newscast, winning the week of August 3-9, 2009. During the week, the Williams-led newscast delivered 7.574 million total viewers, +1.066 million more than ABC “World News’” 6.508 million – its biggest advantage since the week of June 29, 2009, and +2.477 million more than CBS “Evening News’” 5.097 million. Season-to-date, “Nightly” is the only evening newscast to increase in total viewers and tops “World News” by +836,000 viewers.
So, Sawyer loses to the "Today" show with or without Couric, Couric is getting trounced by Brian and Charlie, but in Kurtz and Brown's view, Sawyer has a shot at being number one.
Pretty astounding logic, wouldn't you agree?
On an unrelated note, earlier in the segment Kurtz made an admission that I wish others in the media were willing to state on the air:
We're used to some former Democrats becoming anchors and hosts. George Stephanopoulos worked for Clinton. Tim Russert worked for Cuomo and Moynihan.
Wow. Glad you noticed what we on the right have been complaining about for years.