Accuracy in Media

Summertime television viewing typically falls off as vacations and other activities fill up the family calendar.  One major casualty of this drop-off is the network evening news programs. One program that was hit especially hard was the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric whose ratings last week tied an all-time low set last June.

From TVNewser

The network newscast ratings for last week are in and “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” tied its all-time low in total viewers with an average of 4.89 million tuning in during the five days.

The low was set last June, when ABC also hit its own low. (Ratings records date back to the 1991-’92 season.) Last week, NBC averaged 7.42 million total viewers and ABC averaged 6.51 million.

• Our ratings report for last week is now available here.

Erica Hill filled in on Tuesday and Harry Smith was in Wednesday. Couric anchored from New York Monday and from Afghanistan on Thursday and Friday.

Because these are summer ratings I am trying not too read too much into them, but the overall trend continues to be down when taken as a whole.

For CBS News this will only add fuel to the fire about Couric’s future with the network since her contract will be up next year and they have little to show for their $15 million per year investment.

When Couric took over the anchor desk she gave the network a small ratings bounce but that quickly faded as viewers wither returned or ABC and NBC or tune out altogether.  Back then she complained that CBS didn’t devote enough resources in the form of public relations and promotion and that was the reason for the poor ratings.  I guess Katie never did see the fawning ads on CBS hyping her arrival.

Now almost five years later the ratings for the  Evening News program are even worse than when she started.

What’s her excuse going to be now?  I know it’s George Bush’s fault because he’s no longer in office to kick around.




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