Big 3 Nets' Evening Newscast Audiences Continue HIstoric Current-Year and Long-Term Slides

NBCABCCBSchartGraphicEach of the Big 3 networks' evening news broadcasts is pulling an historically low audience, or close to it -- and it isn't even summertime yet.

While they continue to pretend that Obamamania is as alive and well as it allegedly was in January, they have seen 25% of their viewers go elsewhere, including one-third of the 25-54 demographic.

Year over year, they're down a collective 6% overall, and a stunning 10% in the 25-54 demo, which now consists of less than 6 million pairs of eyes. Test patterns might be able to outperform that.

Here is the latest chart showing the post-Jan. 26 skids:

EveningNewsViewer051109

Almost three years ago, in July 2006, Drudge headlined "TV's Lowest Week," which linked to a wire story about how network TV in general, including the evening news shows, had just endured their worst week for total audience since the boob tube became widely used in households. That wire story said that:

“World News Tonight” averaged 7.3 million viewers and “Nightly News” had 7.2 million (both 5.1 rating, 11 share). The “CBS Evening News” averaged 6.5 million viewers (4.6, 10).

As you can see above, the combined audience for the week of May 11, 2009 was over a half-million lower that early July 2006's 21 million (7.3 + 7.2 + 6.5).

And as I said, it isn't even summertime yet.

ABC, at 7.14 million is already lower than it was during the summer of 2006. I guess that selectively edited Charles Gibson hatchet job on Sarah Palin didn't have any long-term effect. Sorry, Charlie.

This will never happen, but if the nets continue to lose evening news audience at the same rate as they have since January 26, no one will be watching them by next March or April. Sadly, we won't be that lucky.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.