Accuracy in Media

Good Morning America, which supplanted the Today show as the number one morning show in America last year, swept to victory in May with its largest sweeps margin of victory in nearly 20 years.

GMAGMA averaged 5.704 million viewers in May versus 4.78 million for Today, for its largest margin of victory since 1995. In the key demo, GMA beat Today by 110,000 viewers, which was the largest margin of victory in that category since 1994.

Season to date, GMA’s total audience is up eight percent, and two percent in the demo, while third place CBS This Morning is up 11 percent in total viewers and one percent in the demo. Today is down 13 percent and 18 percent respectively.

Today, which had been the number one morning show for 16 years until losing its crown last year, started to unravel with the departure of co-host Meredith Vieira, and completely fell apart after the unceremonious firing of Vieira’s replacement, Ann Curry.

NBC thought that replacing Curry with Savannah Guthrie would put the show back on track, but instead the ratings dropped even further, as viewer backlash over the botched Curry firing was greater than they expected.

Today is in need of a total makeover, but they are bogged down by co-host Matt Lauer’s fat contract and seem content to wait it out until it expires. The problem for NBC is that the longer it waits, the more likely it is that the show’s ratings will decline even further, and take whatever profits it was making with them.

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