Summer ratings for the second quarter of this year’s television news programs were released this week. While the numbers were not terribly surprising, the number of viewers and their changes in percentages compared to last year are very telling as to which news programs are worth watching this summer. While some news shows somehow managed to make huge jumps in the summer ratings, other established programs have remained fairly stagnant. Below is a breakdown of a few news shows to watch this summer; and also which to avoid based on dips in their ratings.
CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. This is definitely a program to watch this summer for evening news. The broadcast program somehow managed to jump in the ratings to have its best second quarter of total viewers since 2007. Although this was actually a -3% among younger viewers, there is a larger number of total viewers than the program has seen in nearly half a decade. The show finishes in third place among its competitors, but had the overall most growth. This means that Scott Pelley and the CBS Evening News team are definitely worth a watch this summer. The CBS network is usually one of the more “to the point” news channels available, as they tend to shy away from the fluff that pollutes so many other news networks.
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. This news program always receives high ratings from viewers, and this summer is no different. The show came in first place for both ratings and numbers for the 23rd consecutive quarter, according to mediabistro.com. This news program also saw growth compared to the second quarter of 2012, including a 1% jump in younger viewers. NBC is a favorite among younger viewers, especially with its weekly comedy and drama programs. Brian Williams has a “cool” appeal that seems to attract the younger and more educated viewers. Rather than attempting to achieve a shock factor when explaining the stories of the day, he calmly and coolly reads those top stories. His style and poise harkens back to the golden age of nightly news. Brian Williams is definitely worth a watch this summer.
Fox Evening News. The Fox Network and its evening news programs received some of the lowest ratings from viewers. While they do not produce a nightly news program like NBC or CBS, their evening programs air on the Fox News Network every night. Shows like The O’Reilly Factor, The Crier Report, and Hannity & Colmes always receive high viewership among older viewers, but cannot cultivate a consistent audience among younger viewers. As compared with the other news programs, they are not worth watching this summer.