September 12, 2007 / 9:45 AM / 10 years ago

Katie Couric hits another record low in ratings

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - “The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” dropped to another record low in the ratings last week, even though the anchor marked her first anniversary in the job on a high-profile trip to Iraq and Syria.

The generally well-received trek to the war zone in Iraq and Syria included interviews with Gen. David Petraeus and President Bush. But in line with what other networks have found with Iraq-related coverage, it didn’t help Couric’s ratings.

The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.4 million viewers, the lowest ratings on record since the current ratings system took effect in 1987, according to Nielsen Media Research. Her previous low was 5.5 million during Memorial Day week in May.

Couric’s stint at “CBS Evening News” started with promise -- she averaged 10.2 million viewers during her first week -- but quickly turned into a $15 million-a-year disappointment for CBS. As critics ripped the former morning news star, CBS abandoned experiments, such as a “Free Speech” segment and Couric’s newsmaker interviews, and returned to a more traditional format.

CBS News president Sean McManus said earlier this month that the recovery would be a “long, long process” and he was “extremely pleased” with the show’s quality.

Meanwhile, ABC’s 2007 ratings leader “World News With Charles Gibson” outdrew “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” by just 24,000 viewers last week, 7.8 million to 7.78 million.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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