ABC Is No. 1 in News July 4 Week


During a shortened 4th of July week, ABC's World News Tonight grabbed top ratings in total viewers and the key adults 25 to 54 demo.

World News Tonight, with Diane Sawyer subsituting for Charles Gibson, averaged  7.34 million viewers and a 2.1/9 in the demo. NBC's Nightly News With Brian Williams posted 7.22 million viewers and a  1.9/9. The CBS Evening News, with Harry Smith anchoring, averged 6.52 million viewers and a 1.7/8.

Due to the holiday, only Wednesday to Friday broadcasts last week were counted in the ratings for the week of July 3 to 7. News viewing is typically lighter in the summer. Even so, with new anchor Gibson, ABC has been gaining on its main competitor, Nightly News. For the last week in June, for example, ABC and NBC tied in the demo, although Nightly News attracted a larger audience. ABC has now been No. 1 or tied NBC in the demo for the last four weeks.

The evening-news ratings race promises to get even more interesting in September, when CBS' new star Katie Couric takes her seat Sept. 5.