Norah O’Donnell’s debut as the new “CBS Evening News” anchor drew much media fanfare but not so many viewers.
The former co-host of “CBS This Morning” came in last place among evening shows on Monday despite a much-publicized premiere that included a sit-down with Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world.
O’Donnell not only trailed “ABC’s World News Tonight” and “NBC Nightly News,” she also failed to best the ratings of her predecessor, Jeff Glor, who hosted “CBS Evening News” for a year and a half.
CBS rolled out the red carpet for O’Donnell when it announced her new role in May — the same day she was set to receive a high-profile media award from her now former “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King.
It then heavily promoted her first show, which boasted an interview with Bezos about his space venture Blue Origin to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. King, too, gave the show a shout-out on Twitter.
Despite all the buzz, Monday night’s broadcast slipped compared to the same night a year earlier, as well as for the show’s average audience so this year, ratings agency Nielsen said. O’Donnell garnered a total audience of 5.6 million viewers, down 1% from the same night in 2018 when Glor drew 5.7 million viewers. Her broadcast slid 6% compared with the 2019-to-date average of nearly 6 million.
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