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CBS’ viewership is up 7 percent this year to 6.4 million people per episode, Nielsen said. CBS is down 2 percent, however, among that 25-to-54-year-old demographic. That indicates "CBS Evening News" is winning back many traditional viewers — the people who once watched Walter Cronkite, not just read about him — more than gaining new ones.
ABC’s audience is up 3 percent to 7.6 million, while NBC is down 2 percent to 8.4 million.
Goldston said ABC works under the assumption that most viewers know the headlines when they tune in and are looking for something new. ABC emphasizes its own exclusives, leading "World News" last month when Robin Roberts interviewed a juror in the George Zimmerman trial and last week shuffling the broadcast at the last minute for a Brian Ross report on drone strikes in Yemen.
Shevlin said CBS hopes vivid reporting can take viewers inside the news of the day — sometimes literally, as Pelley hits the road on big stories.
"We have more than 140 characters," she said.
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