Accuracy in Media

For the fourth consecutive week, Good Morning America beat the Today show in total viewers and narrowly missed capturing the all-important A25-54 demo as well.

GMA topped Today by 353,000 viewers in the week ending July 16th, continuing its very strong showing over the last month. Even more significant is that in the key A25-54 demo, GMA tied Today with 1.737 million viewers, sending shivers throughout NBC News as they watch their 17-year grip on the demo all but come to an end.

Today, which replaced Anne Curry at the beginning of the month, was struggling before the switch, but the decline seems to have been hastened with the abrupt switch to Savannah Guthrie.

In the last year, Today is down 12% in total viewers and 20% in the demo, while GMA is up 4% in both categories. Even the perennial laggard, CBS This Morning is up 7% in total viewers and 6% in the demo, showing that the problem is NBC or Today Show-specific. CBS just announced its own hosting switch with Norah O’Donnell replacing Erica Hill.

Even though GMA and Today tied in the demo, GMA has the edge as they beat Today on three of the five days and has been steadily gaining ground on its NBC competitor, falling just 2,000 viewers short in the demo during the previous week.

Today remains undaunted, however, as the bad news continues to pile up. They issued a press release stating that they were number one in the demo for the 899th straight week.

But that record looks like it’s about to tumble, as preliminary numbers show that GMA outdrew Today in total viewers every day last week by a pretty substantial margin, except on Friday, when the news of the Colorado theater shooting broke.

What NBC has to realize is that The Today Show is broken and is in need of a complete overhaul. Even if they regain some of their ratings momentum by broadcasting from London during the Olympics, that will only be a temporary ratings reprieve and they will still face major challenges once the games are over.





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