Media Confidential points out CBS’ heavily-promoted debut Monday of Norah O’Donnell as the new anchor and managing editor of the network’s flagship CBS Evening News failed to break CBS’ long run in third place behind ABC’s World News Tonight and the NBC Nightly News.
In fact, Forbes citing ratings data compiled by Nielsen show O’Donnell’s first night actually delivered lower ratings than the anchor she replaced, Jeff Glor.
But for all the buzz, Monday night’s broadcast was down compared to the same night a year ago—and the average audience for the CBS Evening News so far in 2019.
O’Donnell drew a total audience of 5.61 million viewers, down 1% from the same night in 2018 (5.69 million viewers) and down 6% compared to the 2019 year-to-date average of 5.96 million.
Those ratings won’t present a challenge to ABC or NBC. But they will concern CBS News chief Susan Zirinsky, who will note that a cable newscast, Fox News Channel’s Special Report with Bret Baier, which also airs at 6:30 p.m. ET, outperformed Evening News in several major markets Monday, including Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta and Miami.