ABC's 'World News Tonight' Wins 2019-2020 Evening News Race

David Muir at the 'World News Tonight' anchor desk
(Image credit: ABC/Heidi Gutman)

ABC’s World News Tonight has won the 2019-2020 evening news race, the David Muir-anchored newscast averaging 9.39 million total viewers, and 1.88 million in the 25-54 demo, based on Nielsen Media Research. NBC Nightly News, anchored by Lester Holt, averaged 8.27 million total viewers, and drew 1.78 million in the 25-54 demo.

CBS Evening News, anchored by Norah O’Donnell, averaged 5.86 million total viewers and 1.1 million viewers 25-54.

World News Tonight rated a 6.1 in households while NBC Nightly News tallied a 5.3 and CBS Evening News a 3.8. 

ABC News said World News Tonight won every night of the year in total viewers, which it added that no network had done since the start of Nielsen’s electronic database in the 1991-1992 season.

Related: Pandemic Reshapes News Business

World News Tonight went up 9% in total viewers for the season and 9% in viewers 25-54. 

NBC Nightly News gained 4% for 2019-2020 in total viewers, reporting its best season since 2015-2016, according to NBC News, and 1% in viewers 25-54. 

CBS Evening News is up 28,000 total viewers season over season, and gained 5%  since it relocated to Washington, DC, in December 2019. O’Donnell called the DC move “a genius stroke” by CBS News President Susan Zirinsky, giving the newscast a front-row seat for President Trump’s impeachment, his handling of the pandemic, and countless other stories. 

Almin Karamehmedovic is the executive producer of World News Tonight. Jennifer Suozzo exec produces NBC Nightly News and Jay Shaylor exec produces CBS Evening News

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.