Brian Williams Nabs Top Ratings


The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams grabbed top spot in evening news ratings last week, attracting the largest total audience and topping the key news demographic.

Nightly posted an average 7.82 million viewers for the week of Aug 14 to Aug 18, according to Nielsen Media Research. The no. 2 evening news, ABC's World News with Charles Gibson, averaged 7.29 million viewers and CBS' Evening News trailed with 6.82 million.

In the adult 25 to 54 demographic, NBC averaged a 2.2 rating/9 share to ABC's 2.0/9. Third-placed CBS recorded a 1.8/8.

With Katie Couric set to take over Evening News on Sept. 5, the network newscasts are all bracing for a highly competitive fall. NBC says Nightly has been the most-watched evening news for 109 of the last 111 weeks.

Its rivals are making significant moves though. Since Gibson took over World News in May, the program has been making solid ratings gains and has tied NBC in the demo several times this summer.

To pump up Couric's arrival, CBS has launched an unprecedented marketing campaign and plans to feature Couric in a prime time special Sept. 6 to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.