‘World News Tonight’ tops rat­ings for 3rd week

Los Angeles Times - - COM­PANY TOWN - By Stephen Battaglio stephen.battaglio @la­times.com

ABC’s “World News Tonight With David Muir” won its third straight week for the first time since Septem­ber 2008.

The news­cast av­er­aged 7.9 mil­lion view­ers for the week of April 13-17, top­ping “NBC Nightly News,” with Lester Holt, which had 7.7 mil­lion. “CBS Evening News With Scott Pel­ley” fin­ished third with 6.8 mil­lion.

The rat­ings losses for “NBC Nightly” have fol­lowed the sus­pen­sion of Brian Wil­liams, who has been off the broad­cast since Feb. 7. He was sus­pended for false state­ments he made about his re­port­ing dur­ing the 2003 U.S. in­va­sion of Iraq.

NBC can take some com­fort in that “Nightly” had a slight edge over “World News” in the au­di­ence of 25to 54-year-olds, whom ad­ver­tis­ers tar­get with news pro­gram­ming, af­ter los­ing the last two weeks.

There is still no sign as to when NBC News will make a fi­nal de­ci­sion on Wil­liams’ fu­ture with the broad­cast. Al­though newly in­stalled NBC News Chair­man Andy Lack is close friends with the an­chor, in­sid­ers and com­peti­tors have said that a re­turn by Wil­liams seems un­likely.

In­side the news divi­sion, staffers are said to be happy with Holt in the an­chor chair and be­lieve that a shift in rat­ings is to be ex­pected af­ter such a change.

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