Accuracy in Media

“The ‘Today Show,” which has been king of the hill in the early morning ratings for 800 consecutive weeks, is receiving a little competition from ABC’s “Good Morning America” for the first time years.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “GMA” has narrowed the ratings gap with “Today” to just 397,000 viewers compared to the gap during 2010’s season premiere week of between 1.1 and 1.4 million. Last week the gap narrowed even more to 270,000 viewers. That is the smallest gap between “GMA” and “Today” in 16 years and should be a cause of concern for NBC.

The Journal reported that “GMA” has made these gains by trying to imitate “Today,” and apparently viewers like the new “GMA.” Another factor may be that the departure of  anchor Meredith Vieira is having a negative effect on “Today’s” ratings though the show’s executive producer, Jim Bell, told the Journal that he is pleased how the program has performed since Ann Curry succeeded Vieira.

“We went through a big transition with Meredith to Ann, but we are happy with our performance in light of that anchor switch and some other questions about the broadcast schedule.”

If “GMA” makes any more headway, then expect NBC to make some changes to protect the show’s ratings dominance and the $535 million in advertising revenue that it brought in last year.

The  tightening of the ratings is a chink in the “Today Show’s” armor and one that “GMA” will try to fully exploit in the weeks and months ahead.

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