ABC's newscast averaged 7.9 million for the week of April 13-17, topping "NBC Nightly News," with Lester Holt, which had 7.7 million. "CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley," finished third with 6.8 million.
The ratings losses for "NBC Nightly" have followed the suspension of Brian Williams, who has been off the broadcast since Feb. 7. He was suspended from the network for false statements he made about his reporting during the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
NBC can take some comfort in that "Nightly" had a slight edge over "World News" in the audience of 25-to-54-year-olds whom advertisers target with news programming, after losing the last two weeks.
There is still no sign as to when NBC News will make a final decision on Williams' future with the broadcast. While newly installed NBC News chairman Andy Lack is close friends with the anchor, insiders and competitors have speculated that a return by Williams seems unlikely.
Inside the news division, staffers are said to be happy with Holt in the anchor chair and that a shift in ratings is to be expected after such a change.