Ratings Smackdown: Savannah Guthrie’s ‘Today’ Debut Beat by ‘GMA’

-By Warner Todd Huston

This week ABC’s morning show, Good Morning America, had it’s best Monday morning ratings in the 25-54 demo since 2006. Significantly, this same Monday was the official debut morning of Savannah Guthrie as the official new co-host of NBC’s Today,

Today is usually the morning ratings powerhouse and Guthrie has had a week already to impress viewers, but apparently she has yet to make the case.

Guthrie had been “filling in” for fired co-host Ann Curry for the past week, but this Monday was her official debut as Matt Lauer’s co-host. Despite the special occasion, Today lost its usual dominance of the morning ratings game.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed the stats on July 10.

Fast affiliate ratings have GMA posting a 6,000 advantage over Today with adults 24-54 (1.68 million over 1.674 million) and a 356,000 advantage among total viewers (4.425 million over 4.069 million).

If these numbers hold, it will be GMA’s first Monday win in both measurements since February, 2006.

GMA won total viewership over Savannah Guthrie’s first appearance in the co-host seat on June 29 and had tied for average viewers during Ann Curry’s last week on the air with Today.

It’s not a very auspicious beginning for Guthrie as she starts her stint in the co-host chair.

This ratings sting is piled on top of the ratings for Ann Curry’s “tearful goodbye” on June 28, a day when Today’s ratings merely treaded water.

On Curry’s last day, GMA’s ratings came in only 180,000 viewers under Today, a record that put Today in a weaker position than it had been in previous weeks.

Surely NBC officials must hope this morning ratings slide seen over the last several weeks does not turn into a trend.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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Copyright Publius Forum 2001