Big Three Nets' Evening News Programs Still in Collective Decline

You might think that a presidential election year might give the Big Three networks' evening newscasts a shot in the arm.

You would be wrong.

Full-year figures released last week and available MediaBistro's TVNewser showed yet another audience decline.

The comparisons that follow are of the 2007-2008 ratings year just ended (each ratings year begins of fall season premieres) to 2006-2007:

EveningNews2008v2007

NBC's small pickup is more than wiped out by the audience losses at ABC and CBS.

The first week of the new ratings year was better than the previous week, but the overall downward trend clearly continues, as you can see by comparing it to the two previous years' averages:

EveningNewsFirstNewWeekVs2008and2007

Viewership should be strongest right now, but it isn't. NBC's decline is especially steep, and makes you wonder if the fever-swamp nuttiness of MSNBC is hurting the parent brand.

They''ll say the audience declines are because of competition from alternative media. That's somewhat valid, but the nets continue to chase their audiences away faster than would otherwise have happened with their relentless bias.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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