According to a report from The Wrap, “NBC Nightly News” has suffered its worst ratings on a year-to-year basis in the history of the program.
The program, led by Lester Holt, slipped to just an average of 8.13 million viewers per night between September 2017 and September 2018, The Wrap reported. This makes it the smallest average of viewers for NBC since Nielsen started to gather electronic ratings data in 1991, according to The Wrap.
Moreover, the “Nightly News” program was overwhelmingly beaten by its competitor over at ABC, “World News Tonight.”
In fact, according to The Wrap, the Dave Muir-led ABC program won in total viewers for the second consecutive year, and had the “largest margin of victory over ‘Nightly News’ to-date, according to Nielsen.”
“NBC Nightly News” however, did finish above the CBS news program “CBS Evening News.” That program came in with just 6.209 million average viewers per night. (CBS, of course, has other problems, thanks to a sexual abuse scandal involving former CEO Les Moonves.)
While “NBC Nightly News” beat ABC’s “World News Tonight” in total viewers for the 25-54 key demographic group, the number of those viewers actually dropped by 5 percent, according to The Wrap. “World News Tonight,” meanwhile, increased its numbers in that age range, which is coveted by advertisers.
Over the last year, NBC has been plagued by a growing list of scandals from the sexual misconduct allegations of former “Today” show host Matt Lauer to the controversial blog posts published by MSNBC host Joy Reid.
A blog Ried ran a decade ago, called The Reid Report, was filled with posts about 9/11 conspiracy theories as well as homophobic and anti-Semitic rants. Reid has denied writing the articles saying that her blog was hacked.
In addition, legendary NBC newsman Tom Brokaw was accused of sexual misconduct in May.
It was also NBC News that turned down Ronan Farrow’s breaking story of the multiple sexual allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
When asked why NBC didn’t run the story, Farrow just said, “You would have to ask NBC and NBC executives about the details.” (NBC’s stance is that the story was not ready for publishing at the time it turned it down, according to a statement reported by CNN in August.)
NBC has also suffered low ratings for former Fox star Megyn Kelly’s show “Megyn Kelly Today.”
In April, Business Insider reported that Kelly’s show averaged just 2.4 million viewers compared to more than 3 million viewers for ABC’s similar show “Live with Kelly and Ryan” which is at the same time slot.
Meanwhile, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack is on the hot seat. The New York Post’s Page Six reported in August that top executives of NBC parent company Comcast are looking to replace him for the mishandling of the Lauer andn Brokaw sexual misconduct allegations, as well as the 2015 scandal involving former anchor Brian Williams.
One source told Page Six, “Comcast execs are tired of the scandals and talent troubles at NBC News. They want to establish a new tone at the division, and start to win back its former prestige.”
An NBC spokesperson simply argued, “That is absurd.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.