NBC’s Brian Williams problem has developed into an absence of Brian Williams problem.
ABC’s “World News a Tonight” was the most-watched evening newscast for the five days between March 20 and April 3, according to Nielsen, marking the first time since September 7, 2009, that NBC’s “Nightly News” has not held that distinction.
ABC’s newscast was also the most watched in the period by viewers between 25 and 54, the audience most coveted by advertisers in news programming.
ABC’s victory comes while the NBC broadcast has been in flux. Brian Williams, the longtime anchor if “Nightly News,” is serving a six-month suspension following the disclosure that he lied about the details of a 2003 reporting trip to Iraq. NBC News is investigating other potential falsifications by Williams, and there is one school of thought within NBCU that the anchor may not return to his post.
“Lester Holt has led NBC Nightly News to great success over the past two months, and we continue to be pleased with his strong performance during this time,” NBC News said in a statement.” We’re proud of the caliber of our work and remain committed to delivering the highest quality broadcast for our audience every night.”