The LA Times gives Diane Sawyer’s World News a big puffy PR smooch up in an article with the sub-head of “The evening newscast’s ratings have spiked 8% since she took over as anchor four weeks ago.”

In her first four weeks as anchor, “World News” averaged 8.8 million viewers, a spike of 8% over its season-to-date average, though it still trails the top-rated “NBC Nightly News.”


Looks like ABC PR has spun its magic spell, because while World News 4 week viewership vs. its season average increased by 8% (7.6% to a second digit), NBC’s increased by 9% (8.7%), and even laggard Katie Couric’s CBS newscast increased by 7% (7.3%).

And it’s also nonsense to attribute those recent increases to Sawyer (or Couric, or Williams), they’re primarily Haiti earthquake induced.

Of course, along with all the PR puffery in the piece, it might make a bit less impact if the sub-head had been “Her ratings are about the same compared to NBC and CBS as the last guy”.

Pucker up!

Update: Thanks to Robert, via USA Today, comes a far more straightforward way of presenting the World News ratings numbers:

Though World News‘ ratings are up 8% for Sawyer’s first four weeks as anchor vs. the season average, NBC’s Brian Williams has widened his lead over second-ranked ABC as all three newscasts have gained viewers from recent news events.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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