Thanks to Winfrey and royals, CBS morning show makes history

Entertainment

In this video grab issued Monday, March 8, 2021 by CBS This Morning, Oprah Winfrey discusses her interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. “Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special aired March 7. (CBS This Morning via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Thank you, Oprah!

For the first time on record, CBS’ morning news show on Monday had a bigger audience than ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “Today” show, the Nielsen company said.

The show featured Winfrey talking about her explosive interview with Prince Harry and Meghan that aired the night before on CBS, along with some outtakes that hadn’t been aired.

Nielsen records that date back to 1991 reveal that there had never been a single day that “CBS This Morning,” nor any of its predecessors, beat their two rivals.

“Let that sink in for a moment,” CBS News President Susan Zirinsky said in a memo to her staff on Wednesday.

“CBS This Morning” had 4.79 million viewers on Monday, or more than 2 million more than the show gets on a typical day, Nielsen said. “Good Morning America” had 3.35 million and “Today” had 3.18 million.

Although the precise Nielsen records go back to only 1991, there’s a strong likelihood that CBS has never won, period. Starting in 1982, the network has tried a succession of different morning formats and personnel in an attempt to be competitive with its more established competitors.

More than 50 million people worldwide have seen Winfrey’s interview, with more expected. CBS is rerunning the show on Friday night.

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