Accuracy in Media

It may have been a holiday week, but ABC’s Good Morning America topped The Today Show in total viewers and came close to topping the longtime top-rated show in the key A25-54 demo.

Today used a variety of guest hosts during the July 4th holiday-shortened week after bidding goodbye the previous week to Ann Curry. Viewers abandoned the program in droves as GMA won the week by the largest margin in 17 years with a 243,000 viewer advantage.

Even worse for Today was that GMA came within 24,000 viewers of ending the show’s 896-week win streak in the demo.

Compared to the same week last year, Today is down 15% in total viewers and 24% in the demo. GMA, by comparison, is up slightly, showing that there is a momentum shift taking place in the morning television news race.

The preliminary information since Savannah Guthrie debuted this week also shows continued weakness for Today. Guthrie didn’t get the customary bump from her debut on Monday that new hosts tend to receive from a curious audience.

NBC gave Curry a year to prove herself before dumping her in favor of Guthrie. We can probably expect a similar test period for her as well, unless the ratings continue to plunge and start to endanger the hefty profits the show generates for the network.

If that happens, all bets are off, and we could see a revolving chair of guest hosts until NBC can find the ratings success of Katie and  Meredith, which they have failed miserably at to date.

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