ABC's Muir hits five-year mark at 'World News' on the top

This undated image released by ABC shows anchor David Muir on the set of "World News Tonight with David Muir," in New York. After five years at “World News Tonight,” Muir has a milestone that’s increasingly rare in television. His average audience is actually larger than it used be. ABC is finishing the TV season with its largest lead over NBC in 23 years, and 27 years for CBS. It’s the third straight year ABC has won the ratings competition.(Ida Mae Astute/ABC via AP)

NEW YORK — David Muir hits the five-year mark at "World News Tonight with a milestone that's increasingly rare in television. His average audience is actually larger than it used be.

The Nielsen company says the ABC newscast finished its year-long season last week with an average of 8.6 million viewers a night.

ABC is finishing the season with its largest lead over NBC in 23 years, and 27 years for CBS. It's the third consecutive year that ABC has won the ratings competition.

The evening news may not be trendy in a media world where everyone is staring at their phones, but the networks' three programs collectively usually reach more than 20 million people each night.

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