'Nightly News' tops 'World News'

NBC's newscast edges ABC's in the second quarter

NEW YORK -- "NBC Nightly News" won a tight race against ABC's "World News" in the second quarter, taking first place in both viewership and the adults 25-54 demographic.

The newscasts have been locked in a two-way battle, often tying in the demo and bunched up in viewership. NBC narrowly won in viewership in the first quarter but tied with ABC in the demo, and in second quarter last year ABC beat NBC in both viewership and the demo.

This time around, "NBC Nightly News" was the only evening newscast to show a year-to-year increase in viewership: It was up 433,000 viewers with 8 million viewers and a 2.0 rating/8 share in the demo, Nielsen Media Research said. ABC's "World News" averaged 7.8 million viewers and a 1.9/8, down 321,000 viewers compared with a year ago.

Meanwhile, the "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" continued its slump in the second quarter with 5.6 million viewers and a 1.4/6 in adults 25-54. It dropped 528,000 viewers compared to a year ago. But while the show was having ratings problems, it was receiving critical acclaim. RTNDA announced Tuesday that the "CBS Evening News" won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast, one of four that it won this year.

ABC News received an award for overall excellence, as well as awards for feature and investigative reporting, spot news coverage and news documentary for "To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports."

Last week mirrored the quarter, with "NBC Nightly News" coming in first again in viewership and the adults 25-54 demo. ABC's "World News" had its lowest viewership since Sept. 4, 2006, and its lowest demo performance since July 16. The newscast was without Charles Gibson, who was on vacation.