Morning News: ‘GMA’ Takes Total Viewers, ‘Today’ Wins Demos

The morning news ratings are in for the recently completed TV season and each of the traditional Big Three news outfits has something to brag about in the lucrative a.m. battles. ABC’s Good Morning America took total viewers, averaging 4.94 million for the 2015-2016 season, ahead of Today’s 4.71 million and CBS This Morning’s 3.67 million.

While ABC News noted that May represented GMA’s 16th straight sweep win in total viewers,CBS could boast that it grew total viewer ratings 9% for the season, while the others were down (NBC off 3%, ABC off 10%).

NBC was tops in both the 25-54 and 18-49 demo races. It was nine consecutive months for Today as the top rated morning news show, according to NBC, but once again, CBS showed the growth—up 4% in 25-54 and 7% in 18-49—while the other two were down year over year (Today was down in the single digits in both categories, while Good Morning America slid 16% apiece in 18-49 and 25-54).

While it’s far easier to grow ratings when they’re relatively low to start with, CBS News was quick to trumpet its gains, averaging 288,000 more viewers than last season. Ryan Kadro, CBS This Morning executive producer, boasted of the broadcast’s “more substantive and informative approach.”

“Charlie (Rose), Norah (O’Donnell), Gayle (King) and the entire CTM team are dedicated to providing the news that matters--without gimmicks,” he said. “We are gratified that this approach is appealing to more viewers every day.”  

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.