Broadcast News Nets Register Uptick, Cable Sinks

abcworldnewsSome good news for two traditional TV news platforms -- viewership rose in 2013 versus the year before.

A Pew Research Center annual study showed that the combined three commercial broadcast evening news networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- had a 2.3% increase in overall viewership to some 22.6 million.

ABC's “World News with Diane Sawyer” grew 2.2% to 7.7 million viewers; “CBS Evening News” added on 6.5% to 6.5 million viewers. Only industry leader “NBC Nightly News” had a slight dip to 0.7%, to land at 8.4 million viewers.

Network’s morning news programs also collectively rose: 6.7% to $13.4 million. But here the majority of the growth came from ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which added 11% to 5.5 million viewers. The two other big early-morning TV shows declined: “CBS This Morning” was down 18% to 3.2 million and NBC’s “Today” sank 3.7% to 4.7 million.

After some four years of declining numbers at local TV news programs -- between 2008 and 2012 -- viewership has ticked up.

Local TV news programs from the three major network affiliate shows -- ABC, NBC, and CBS -- were up 3.3% for their early evening newscasts; 6.3% higher for morning TV newscasts; with late night newscast, inching up 0.1%. Fox's local TV newscast grew 9% for its morning newscasts, with its late night news declining 1.2%.

On the flip side, cable TV news networks collectively sank 11% to 3 million on average in prime time -- the smallest numbers since 2007. MSNBC lost 24% to land at just over 619,500;  CNN was some 13% lower, posting 543,000; and Fox News, still the dominant cable TV news leader, sank 6% to 1.75 million.

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