While the news divisions at ABC and NBC have made widespread use of Twitter, CBS is lagging far behind, which may in part explain their poor ratings.
Among the morning shows, ABC’s Good Morning America is in the lead with nearly two million Twitter followers, followed by The Today Show with almost 1.6 million, with CBS This Morning trailing badly with just 58,000 followers.
For the evening news shows, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams is the leader with nearly 167,000 followers, followed closely by ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer with almost 153,000, and CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley bringing up the rear with just a little over 26,000 followers.
The figures are much the same when it comes to the personal accounts of the evening news anchors, with Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams running neck and neck in followers and Scott Pelley bringing up the rear.
At a time when social media, especially Twitter, has become a part of the news cycle, the disinterest by CBS News is quite surprising, and probably plays a part in their continual last place finishes among the major broadcast networks with both their morning and evening news programs.
The news division at CBS might want to rethink their Twitter strategy, or lack thereof, by taking a look at the Super Bowl, which was shown on that network on Sunday. There were 24.1 million tweets during the game. When the blackout hit the Superdome, rather than tuning out while the game was in limbo, people tweeted their thoughts about what happened as they watched and waited for the game to resume.
Twitter can be a powerful and useful tool for news organizations. But by largely ignoring it, CBS News risks falling even further behind ABC and NBC, which is something they can ill afford.
ABC’s Good Morning America: 1.946 million followers
NBC’s Today: 1.574 million followers
CBS This Morning: 58,481 followers
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: 166,891 followers
ABC World News with Diane Sawyer: 152,769 followers
CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley: 25,922
Diane Sawyer: 173,230
Brian Williams : 156,424
Scott Pelley: 10,420