NEW YORK — The 16-year ratings dominance of NBC’s “Today” show, one of television’s most epic streaks, has apparently ended.

The Nielsen Co. said Monday that ABC’s “Good Morning America” beat NBC’s morning show last week by a razor-thin margin of 13,000 viewers – and ABC owes Tim Tebow a hearty thank-you.

The “Today” show had won 852 consecutive weeks in the ratings, a streak that began in December 1995 when Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric were the chief anchors.

The streak was a huge point of pride at NBC as the rest of the network declined. Morning shows are also an important revenue source, and a changing of the guard could have significant financial repercussions.

The “Today” show earned an estimated $484 million in revenue in 2011, according to Kantar Media, more than “GMA” ($298 million) and CBS’ morning show ($156 million) combined.

NBC this month signed “Today” co-host Matt Lauer to a contract extension that reportedly makes him the highest-paid on-air talent in television news. Lauer, however, was on vacation last week. David Gregory and Carl Quintanilla subbed for him

“Good Morning America” averaged 5.147 million viewers for the week, to the “Today” show’s 5.134 million, Nielsen said in its fast national estimate. ABC was cautious in its response because the final ratings aren’t due until Thursday.

Baldwin goes to Congress to seek arts funding

WASHINGTON — Alec Baldwin visited the nation’s capital Monday to press for increased federal funding for the arts after government dollars were cut last year, saying such funding ensures the public affordable access to theater, dance and music.

The actor for NBC’s “30 Rock” said he was returning to Congress to press for arts funding after the culture wars of the 1990s first drew him into the same debate about 20 years ago. Part of his passion, he said, was protecting freedom of expression through the arts, as well as arts education.

Baldwin said his own industry of TV and film is often like the “potato chip business – it’s junk food.” For more sophisticated arts, he said he has to go out and find music, theater or dance programs just like anyone else. But for him, a night out for culture isn’t an issue.

“There are tremendous parts of the country right now where there’s a need for federal funding for the arts in order to bring that to people on a level that they can afford,” he said. “We still have a cultural heritage to protect in this country. This is what’s going to enrich people’s lives.”

Pianist and singer Ben Folds, who is also a judge on NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” planned to join Baldwin and hundreds of arts advocates from across the country in lobbying Congress.

Beach Boys concert to be aired on radio

NEW YORK — Before their reunion tour kicks off, the Beach Boys will perform together in a much more intimate setting for SiriusXM Radio.

The band is due to perform a selection of songs Thursday in Los Angeles as part of SiriusXM’s “Artist Confidential” private concert series. The group will also be interviewed during the event.

The Beach Boys are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, and kick off their tour in Tucson, Ariz., on April 24. The SiriusXM concert will air May 26.