Election coverage gives news a bump

Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:52pm EST
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By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - It was a pretty good election week for TV news teams, with ABC and NBC tops in the evening news race and Fox News Channel taking the top spot for the week in cable primetime.

"NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" won the week beginning November 3 in viewership, while ABC's "World News With Charles Gibson" tied NBC for the lead among adults 25-54, a demographic coveted by advertisers, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday. NBC averaged 9.35 million viewers and a 2.5 rating/9 share in adults 25-54, while ABC averaged 9.28 million viewers and a 2.5/9.

"CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" came in a distant third with 6.1 million viewers and a 1.6/6 in the demo. CBS and ABC averages didn't include Election Day because fewer stations picked up that night's newscast.

Meanwhile, it was the second week in a row that Fox News was tops among cable networks in primetime and second to Nickelodeon in total-day viewership. Fox averaged 3.5 million viewers in primetime to CNN's 3.3 million and MSNBC's 2.2 million.

In adults 25-54, CNN was tops among cable news channels with 1.4 million, beating all except ESPN (1.6 million) and USA (1.4 million). Fox News was fourth with 1.4 million adults 25-54 and MSNBC fifth with 908,000. CNN was in first place in total day for the week with 711,000 adults 25-54.

The good ratings news continued into the new week, when Fox News' "On the Record With Greta van Susteren" averaged 3.8 million viewers for the second-highest-rated program in cable news on Monday night for van Susteren's interview of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter