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'Today' Nips Abc In A.m. Nielsens

January 25, 1986|JAY SHARBUTT | Times Staff Writer

For the sixth consecutive week, NBC's resurgent "Today" show has won the ratings race against ABC's once-dominant "Good Morning America," this time by five-tenths of a ratings point, A.C. Nielsen audience estimates showed Friday.

According to ratings averages for last week, "Today" had a 5.6 rating and a 25% share of the audience in its two-hour time period, and "Good Morning America" a 5.1 rating and a 23% audience share. Each ratings point represents 859,000 homes.

"We're really going now," exulted "Today" executive producer Steve Friedman.

Such wasn't the case last week for the oft-changed "CBS Morning News," still struggling for a comeback with a new anchor team, a new executive producer, and with format changes in the works. It remained deep in third place in the Nielsens, averaging a 2.8 rating and a 13% share of the audience.

Despite all the publicity about the disease, NBC News' prime-time special on AIDS, anchored by Tom Brokaw, was easily bested in its Tuesday night time period by a private eye series and a beauty pageant, national ratings show.

ABC's "Spenser: For Hire," won the hour with an 18.4 rating, while CBS' telecast of the "Miss Teen, USA" pageant got a 16.7. The NBC News special on AIDS got an 11.8.

Cable News Network says it plans to start airing reports on Sunday about life inside Soviet-backed Afghanistan, where more than 100,000 Soviet troops have been fighting U.S.-supported rebels. The guerrillas have been trying to overthrow the Marxist regime in Kabul for six years.

The Afghan government allowed CNN's Moscow bureau chief, Stuart Loory, and journalists from nine other news organizations, including NBC News, to enter the war-torn country on Monday for a government-escorted tour, a CNN spokeswoman said.

The tour is scheduled to last a week.

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