Norah O’Donnell is off to slow start in the ratings after first week

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

Ratings for Norah O’Donnell’s first week as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” are either just “meh,” promising, flat or a bit concerning — depending on how you look at them.

On one hand, numbers were basically flat from O’Donnell’s debut to the week prior, which used a fill-in anchor.

“CBS Evening News” had an average of 5.24 million viewers the week of July 15, 2019.

CBS, meanwhile, says the numbers are indicating slight growth from the previous month, though it’s important to note former anchor Jeff Glor had signed off May 10 so the broadcast was in the middle of rotating fill in anchors.

However, when looking at year over year data, “Evening” is down 5% in total viewers — and even more sharply in the adults 25-54 demo.

CBS News president Susan Zirinsky told ABC News that “Judging numbers after only one week is meaningless.”

She says the network is focused on delivering impactful journalism.

As part of those efforts, in O’Donnell’s first week as anchor, she traveled to Florida to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and then to the U.S.-Mexico border for immigration coverage.

No matter how you spin the ratings, however, O’Donnell’s broadcast remains solidly in third place.

“ABC World News Tonight” averaged 7.9 million viewers the week of O’Donnell’s debut while “NBC Nightly News” recorded 6.9 million — with millions of viewers between “Evening News” and its closest competitor.

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