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Network News Viewership Grows For The First Time In 9 Years

TV Newser reports today that, for the first time since the 2001-2002 season, nightly newscast viewership is up for all three major networks; ABC, CBS, and NBC gaining a combined 637,000 total viewers in the 2010-11 season. With news breaking fast and furious on 24hour cable news networks and the internet, viewers have recently trended away from nightly newscasts. These numbers show that a colossal year in news like the last — with the rescue of the Chilean miners, Gulf Coast oil spill, mass animal deaths, Arab Spring and economic recessions — can reverse the momentum.

Evening newscasts on all three stations have seen growth this year despite a flurry of executive changes. NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams is up 2.7 percent; ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer is up 3.3 percent; and CBS’s Evening News with Scott Pelley (anchored for the first eight months of the season by Katie Couric) is up 2.7 percent. NBC and CBS also saw gains in A25-54 viewership.

The total viewers gained in the 2010-2011, however, didn’t amount to the viewers lost in the 2009-2010 season, meaning viewership is not quite back to what it was in 2008-2009. But as the 2012 campaign season gears up, viewers will likely continue to tune in, just as they did in 2008-2009.

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