"Can soul-battered NBC News catch a break or what?,"Lloyd Grove asked Tuesday for the Daily Beast.
"On Tuesday morning, the latest Nielsen ratings were released for the scandal-plagued Nightly News program — which suspended tall tale-telling Brian Williams and replaced him on six-month trial basis with just-the-facts-ma'am Lester Holt — and the numbers were ominous.
"A mere week after the Peacock Network's embattled news division president, Deborah Turness, led the staff in raucous applause for Holt's consistent week-to-week performance at No. 1 since being thrust behind the anchor desk on Feb. 9, ABC's World News Tonight anchor David Muir came within 11,000 total viewers and actually beat Holt in the key 25-54 age demographic.
"Incoming NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, who'll attempt to right the second-place Today show and revive the ratings-challenged MSNBC cable outlet, will also have his work cut out for him stabilizing the flagship newscast — which may or may not have hit an iceberg last week.
"The folks rooting for the 55-year-old Holt — a popular, respected figure at NBC as well as the first African-American to solo-anchor any broadcast network's weeknight newscast — would argue that the problem is transitory and would have us blame Germany, the country that invented daylight savings time as a fuel-saving measure during World War I.
"According to the Teutonic Time-Shifting Theory, all three 6:30 p.m. network newscasts lose significant viewership when it stays light outside later. But NBC is supposedly disadvantaged disproportionately because its audience is more prosperous and suburban, given to lovely sunset bike rides and mint juleps on the verandah — while ABC's audience is weighted toward a less affluent, more 'urban,' indoorsy demographic. . . ."
Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times: NBC gives Lester Holt's 'Nightly News' an after-hours ratings boost
- David Bauder, Associated Press: Network News Ratings Fall In Wake Of DST
Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press, the staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Vicky Nguyen of KNTV-TV in San Jose, Calif., were among the winners of the Scripps Howard Foundation's annual Scripps Howard Awards announced Tuesday, "honoring the best work in the news industry and journalism education for 2014."
Henderson, who won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and was 2014 Journalist of the Year for the National Association of Black Journalists, "receives the Scripps Howard Award for Commentary and $10,000 for calling local elected officials to accountability with columns that gave a voice to citizens disgusted with crumbling schools and chronic crime."
The Post-Dispatch "receives the Scripps Howard Award for Breaking News and $10,000 for 'The Shooting of Michael Brown,' 24/7 coverage as developments unfolded following the fatal shooting of an African-American teenager by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer."
Nguyen and Kevin Nious of KNTV-TV "receive the Jack R. Howard Award for Television/Cable In-Depth Local Coverage and $10,000 for 'Inside Sysco: Exposing North America's Food Sheds.' Their undercover investigation of the largest food distributor in North America identified unsanitary storage units across the U.S. and Canada, which forced Sysco to change its distribution system and pay a $19.4 million penalty. . . . ."