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News Viewership Dips in 2Q

NEW YORK: Audience numbers for the news fell during the second quarter, both compared to 1Q09 and to 2Q09, according to Nielsen figures compiled by the Television Advertising Bureau. The Big Three broadcast nets with a nightly newscast were off from both periods in terms of all TV households. ABC and CBS logged the lowest numbers in at least four years.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” averaged a 4.9 during 2Q09 compared to a 5.7 during the first quarter. Ratings traditionally dip in between the first and second quarters because of the seasonal effect, but numbers were also down from last year, when “World News” averaged a 5.3. The “CBS Evening News” averaged a 3.8 compared to a 4.5 in 1Q09 and a 3.9 in 2Q08.

The “NBC Nightly News” posted a 5.4 over 2Q, compared to a 6.3 in 1Q and a 5.5 a year ago. NBC’s nadir was during 3Q07, when “Nightly News” averaged a 5.2.

Among cable news networks, measured 6 p.m. to midnight, Fox News led with a 1.5 average, flat from 1Q and up from a 1.1 a year ago. CNN posted a 0.6 compared to a 0.8 in 1Q and a 0.7 a year ago. MSNBC did a 0.5, down from a 0.6 in 1Q and flat compared to last year.
-- Deborah D. McAdams