Post-Rather, 'Evening News' Experiences Ratings Bump

Since Dan Rather left the "CBS Evening News" just over a year ago, the ratings for the show have increased. After years of being a distant third in the ratings race, CBS's nightly program is now battling it out for second place with ABC's "World News Tonight," Matt Drudge reports:

The CBS EVENING NEWS WITH BOB SCHIEFFER finished the week of May 1 only 310,000 viewers behind ABC’s “World News Tonight,” narrowing the gap with ABC by 1.64 million viewers and with NBC’s “Nightly News” by 1.03 million viewers compared to the same week last year. In households, the CBS EVENING NEWS has cut the gap with ABC’s “World News Tonight” more than 75% to -0.3 of a ratings point compared to a -1.3 rating point differential for the same week last year. The CBS EVENING NEWS also halved the gap with NBC’s “Nightly News” to -0.8 rating point compared to -1.6 for the same period last year. The CBS EVENING NEWS is also the only network-evening newscast to post year-to-year and season-to-date gains in total viewers and households compared to the same period last year.

For the week of May 1, the CBS EVENING NEWS increased its total viewers by +410,000 (7.01 million from 6.60 million) and increased +4% in households (4.9/10 from 4.7/10). During the same period, NBC lost -620,000 viewers (8.01 million from 8.63 million) and decreased -10% in households (5.7/12 from 6.3/13), while ABC’s “World News Tonight” lost -1.23 million viewers (7.32 million from 8.55 million) and decreased -13% in households (5.2/11 from 6.0/13).

CBS has likely been helped by the fact that Schieffer is more in the age group of typical evening news viewers while ABC and NBC are offering anchors significantly younger. That Schieffer is less ostentatiously liberal in his newscast also is helping things, since Rather's ratings fell quite a bit after his Memogate debacle.
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013