In her fourth week as anchor of CBS Evening News, Katie Couric fell to third place in overall audience in the network evening news race, although she held onto a piece of the lead in the key news demo.
For the week of Sept. 25 to 29, NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams led the pack with 8.17 million viewers, followed by ABC World News with Charles Gibson's 7.56 million viewers. CBS was third with an average 7.49 million viewers.
In the adults 25 to 54 demographic, NBC and CBS were tied with 2.1 ratings/9 shares, while ABC registered a 2.0/9.
After opening to huge ratings in early September -- including 13.6 million viewers on her debut night Sept. 5 --Couric's numbers have settled down considerably as regular news viewers get into their viewing routines. In the last two weeks, NBC's Williams has reclaimed his spot as the most-watched newscast, although the margin over ABC and CBS has been tight.
CBS notes that Couric's performance is still well-ahead of the broadcast's ratings a year ago, particularly in the demo. In the last three weeks, Couric has averaged 7.7 million viewers, up from 6.8 million for the same period a year ago. In the 25 to 54 news demo, Evening News is averaging a 2.1/9, up from a 1.7/7 a year ago.
For the same three week period (Sept. 11 to Sept. 29, 2006) Williams is averaging 8.1 million viewers and a 2.1/9 in the demo, while Gibson is pacing with 7.5 million viewers and a 2.0/9.