Katie’s ‘Evening News’ Ratings Hit Low

Apr 22, 2008  •  Post A Comment

In the same week that the public learned that CBS and Katie Couric had held secret talks about her future as anchor of “CBS Evening News,” the third-place newscast sank to a record ratings low.
The “Evening News” averaged 5.39 million viewers, according to data from Nielsen Media Research for the week of April 14. Besides the reports about Ms. Couric leaving that emerged that week, CBS News had to deny a report that it has considered outsourcing some newsgathering to CNN.
The newscast, which made history when Ms. Couric became the first solo female anchor on a network evening broadcast, lost 150,000 viewers from the previous week’s average of 9.56 million.
“NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” showed week-to-week growth with an average of 8.17 million total viewers. Of those 2.39 million were in the key news demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds.
ABC’s “World News With Charles Gibson” averaged 7.51 million viewers, 2.22 million of them in the key demo, down 520,000 viewers and 320,000 viewers, respectively, from the previous week.
Ms. Couric’s “Evening News” averaged 1.69 million viewers in the key news demo, a decline of 70,000 from the previous week.
On April 18, Leslie Moonves, the CBS president and CEO who wooed and won Ms. Couric from NBC’s “Today” show with a $15 million-per-year contract, made an appearance at an “Evening News” staff meeting, addressing the issue of Ms. Couric’s future. He told workers he is proud of Ms. Couric and the newscast and that she would be the network’s flagship anchor for a long time to come.
(Editor: Baumann)


  1. God Bless you, Katie. You took the opportunity, you deserve better assignments at CBS News and hopefully will get them immediately.
    Mr. Moonves, we want your resignation now for this mistaken idea and others in a company that can not afford your expensive, bad ideas at your overly inflated pay rate.
    In the CBS News ranks are at least five individuals who, once chosen, will build a great Evening News organization and the audience will follow. But it will take some time to regain it.
    There is never a markee “fix” to news watching. It is a long term thing where a following is earned.
    Peter Bright

  2. That’s “Marquis,” Pete

  3. Actually, that’s “marquee,” Red.
    “Marquis” was a humorist who wrote about the imaginary life of cockroaches in the late 19th century.

  4. Actually, many people in news pushed for Katie. Les is at the top and takes recommendations. Katie was on a fabricated “high-ratings” from their NBC Today show, so she, her agent/manager and many others were pushing for the new spot, her pay raise and their associated cut of the percentages from the deals they bring her.
    She has never been an American favorite and her fans have been polarized in New York and Los Angeles. Her ideas and views don’t represent the majortity of the country as now shown in these ratings.

  5. Surprised Les isn’t pushing to put his Julie into that hot seat…She’d go from Big Brother to Oh Brother…like Les did choosing Katie.

  6. Since when do the “ideas and views” of the newscaster enter into the picture? Aren’t they just supposed to say what happened, and let you form your own opinion of it?
    Sadly, some of the new ‘pretty boys’ feel they must insert their vapid views on anything and everything. At least Katie has not done that.

  7. Give katie another award for being a loser. She is stealing money from CBS.

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