Norah O’Donnell’s CBS Evening News Debuts to Soft Ratings, Down From Jeff Glor


Norah O’Donnell‘s tenure as host of the CBS Evening News is off to an inauspicious ratings start.

According to data from Nielsen, O’Donnell’s debut broadcast on Monday night averaged 5,608,000 total viewers, and 929,000 in the advertiser-coveted adults 25-54 demographic. For comparison, the same date last year pulled down 5,693,000 overall, and 886,000 in the key demo. CBS’s one percent drop year over year, however, represents slightly less of a downtick than NBC (10 percent) and ABC (four percent) on the same day last year.

The previous Evening News host, Jeff Glor, averaged 7.1 million viewers during the week of his debut in December 2017 — although viewership that month is generally higher than it is in the summer.

When Glor signed off the Evening News in May, he averaged 5,635,000 overall viewers during his final week, and 1,146,000 in the demo, per Nielsen.

The CBS Evening News did uptick slightly compared to the previous Monday — climbing two percent in overall viewers. Rivals NBC and ABC both dropped slightly — five percent and four percent respectively in that category.

O’Donnell debuted to mostly positive reviews on Monday night from critics. Among her early guests, O’Donnell has spoken with Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and Caroline Kennedy. She also took her show on the road to the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday — in honor of the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11.

The numbers keep the revamped CBS nightly broadcast in third place, behind NBC and ABC. ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir topped total viewers of the networks with 7.93 million and 1.5 million in the demo. NBC’s Nightly News with Lester Holt came second in total, with 7.07 million viewers, but won the demo out of the three, with 1.56 million.

Fox News even managed to beat out O’Donnell’s numbers in some key markets. Bret Baier’s show Special Report beat the much-hyped debut in major cities including Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta and Miami.

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