Katie Couric's Ratings Slip as Week Wears On

Despite dropping numbers, Couric boosts CBS News' viewership

Katie Couric’s Tuesday debut on CBS’s Evening News was a hit – but how was the rest of her week?

Not bad, as it turns out, though her numbers dropped slightly as the week wore on.

Some 13.6 million viewers watched Couric’s first show on Sept. 5. Wednesday’s newscast drew 10.13 million; Thursday’s, 9.48 million.

Even with that drop, reports MediaWeek magazine, Couric still beat NBC’s usually top-rated Nightly News with Brian Williams, and ABC’s typically second-ranked World News Tonight, with Charles Gibson.

NBC’s slippage is partially blamed on the fact that some markets pre-empted the news show on Thursday night, Sept. 7, with the start of the National Football League season and a classic match-up between the Dolphins and the Steelers.

Saying that CBS executives find the news about Couric to be encouraging, the trade publication also says that Katie’s addition to the newscast helped expand viewership by 84 percent compared to a year ago. And in the 25-54-year-old age range, the program improved 95 percent (3.9 million vs. 2 million).

Overall, last week brought CBS its biggest ratings for the show since the coverage of the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan on Feb. 16, 1998.

This week’s looming question: How will Couric’s successor on the Today show, Meredith Vieira, fare with viewers? The veteran of The View starts Wednesday.

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