ABC tops weekly news ratings


NEW YORK -- ABC's "World News With Charles Gibson" took viewership and the adults 25-54 demographic last week, marking the second time in three weeks that the newscast has beaten traditional leader "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams."

It was also the fourth week in a row that ABC's newscast was No. 1 in the demographic, according to data released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

"World News" averaged 9.4 million viewers, compared with 9.1 million for "NBC Nightly News" and 6.9 million viewers for "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric." ABC was on top in the demo with a 2.5 rating/9 share in adults 25-54 to NBC's 2.2/8 and CBS's 1.8/7, Nielsen said.

It had been 18 months -- since Aug. 8, 2005 -- since ABC had that wide of a margin against "NBC Nightly News."

Meanwhile, the Anna Nicole Smith saga helped boost the cable news channel's ratings this month compared with February 2006. Fox News Channel prevailed in both viewership and the adults 25-54 demographic in both total day and primetime and showed increases in each measure and daypart. CNN was up double-digits in viewership and the demo in total day and primetime, as were MSNBC and CNN Headline News.