Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Time to Panic? Lester Holt’s Ratings Slip, Reportedly Causing Network Tension

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*On Feb. 21, “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” updated viewers on Twitter about Holt’s absence, saying: “Wondering where @LesterHoltNBC has been? Home sick with some chicken soup and his dog Lucy.”

Adding, “Luckily, @SavannahGuthrie is anchoring @NBCNightlyNews from PyeongChang tonight. We’re live in the East in 25 minutes.”

Is Mr. Holt sick from stress related to his position at NBC reportedly being in jeopardy?

Insiders told Page Six that Holt’s bosses “are beginning to sweat” after ABC News’ “World News Tonight with David Muir” shockingly pulled in more viewers during the Olympics.

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Lester Holt
Lester Holt

And to make things even more awkward, Brian Williams — whom Holt replaced on “Nightly News” after Williams was busted for lying on the air — is a smash hit at his new gig at MSNBC.

Meanwhile, sources say if Holt’s stats get worse, it would put the network in a tough bind because NBC has no clear successor for him.

Savannah Guthrie, who has been a huge hit as “Today” co-host with Hoda Kotb since Matt Lauer was fired for alleged sexual misconduct in November — “would absolutely be a contender [for the ‘Nightly News’ gig],” and that “before Matt was fired, you could make a case to move Savannah to [‘Nightly News’], but it’s impossible to do that now.”

An NBC News insider said, “Lester is beloved at the network, is doing outstanding work, and has ‘Nightly News’s’ longest-winning demo streak in over 4 ¹/ years.”

According to Deadline via popculture.com:

During the week of Feb. 12, Muir drew 9.01 million viewers, while Holt pulled in 8.48 million. However, Holt beat Muir in the 25-54 demo, which advertisers pay attention to when it comes to news broadcasts. Holt averaged a 1.8 rating (2.14 million viewers), while CBS had a 1.2 rating (1.43 million viewers). Holt also beat Muir despite airing at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time because of the live Olympics coverage.

Lester Holt has been at NBC since 2000 and also hosts the “Dateline” newsmagazine.

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