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During the week of July 22, the Diane Sawyer-fronted newscast pulled in 38,000 more viewers than rival Brian Williams‘ program, with total viewership in the demo equaling 1.917 million versus 1.879 million for Nightly, according to Nielsen.
This marks the first time in five years that World News has eclipsed the NBC evening broadcast in the important demo.
“Diane and I are incredibly proud of the talented team of producers and correspondents who come in every day curious about the world,” said World News executive producer Michael Corn in a statement Tuesday. “We appreciate the support from our local stations and most of all the loyal viewers who trust us to bring them the most important and compelling stories of the day. We have a lot more work to do. We’re just getting started.”
World News‘ good week was no doubt helped by modest boosts from coverage of Prince William and Duchess Catherine giving birth to the royal baby — as well as an interview with Juror B29 in the George Zimmerman trial. And while World News may have locked a narrow win in the demo, it still lost in total viewers. Nightly News pulled in 7.536 million viewers, edging past World News‘ 7.287 million by 249,000 viewers.
The feat comes after months of gains for Sawyer’s broadcast, which previously ranked in a much more distant second place to Williams.
And in addition to this being an unfortunately timed blow to Williams — his primetime news magazine Rock Center was canceled in May after a year’s worth of time slot shuffling — it marks another setback for NBC News. Last year the operation saw Today fall behind ABC’s Good Morning America for the first time in over a decade.
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