NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Those who say CBS anchor
Katie Couric may not last in her job found additional
ammunition in the latest ratings data.
"CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" averaged 5.4 million
viewers last week, according to data released Tuesday by
Nielsen Media Research.
That was the lowest number recorded since Nielsen switched
to people meters in 1987 and likely the lowest for an evening
newscast since the early years. CBS' previous low of 5.5
million viewers was in September during Couric's weeklong
series of reports from Iraq.
"Obviously we're frustrated by the ratings. We don't
believe that the broadcast or Katie are getting the credit they
deserve," CBS News senior vp Paul Friedman said. "It's a
first-rate broadcast. Most people who watch it carefully inside
and outside the broadcast will tell you that. She's doing a
Meanwhile, "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" won last
week's race with 8.2 million viewers, followed by ABC's "World
News With Charles Gibson" with 7.5 million.
It's been a difficult month for CBS News, which suffered
dual blows in the press over the rumors of a CBS-CNN
partnership and then talk that Couric might leave "CBS Evening
News" sometime this year, well before the end of her five-year
contract. CBS denied the CBS-CNN partnership but had more
trouble with the Couric rumors. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves last
Friday appeared with CBS News president Sean McManus in the
"CBS Evening News" newsroom and reiterated support for Couric.
On Monday, however, Couric lost what promised to be her
best shot at moderating a debate in the Democratic presidential
cycle with news that the North Carolina Democratic Party had
dropped its plans for a debate following "60 Minutes" on April