June 19, 2017

NBC’S FAKE NEWS SHOW: “When is the Nightly News the Nitely News? When ratings are lousy.”

You might be forgiven for thinking NBC has but one flagship evening newscast, the NBC Nightly News, honchoed by Lester Holt. But the network has another show, one that looks for all intents and purposes just like its Nightly News, but titled instead the NBC Nitely News. What—has the network left it to the interns to enter the show’s name in the Chyron machine?

No, it seems that the misspelling is reserved solely for filing logs with ratings tabulator Nielsen. The Nightly News is in a battle with ABC’s World News Tonight (hmmm, or is that World News Tonite?). On some nites when its news program gets low ratings, NBC has been labeling its show for the Nielsen folks as the Nitely News. On nights when a sufficient number of viewers show up, the program is reported as the Nightly News. By weeding out the bad nites, NBC overcounts, for its ratings scorecard, the percentage of nights with winning performances.

You can’t take Brian Williams out of the Nitely, err, Nightly News, but that alone won’t change NBC’s urge to cook the books.