Katie Couric’s CBS Debut a Ratings Hit

While the critics were less than impressed, the curiosity factor gave Katie Couric huge numbers in her opening night.

[The] debut of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric attracted 13.59 million total viewers, finishing number one for the night and easily beating NBC Nightly News (7.76 million viewers) and ABC’s World News (7.58 million viewers) in the process. The 13.59 million total viewers are the most for the broadcast since Feb. 16, 1998, which occurred during CBS’s coverage of the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano.”

Indeed, Couric attracted nearly as many viewers as her competitors combined. Certainly, that won’t last. Time will tell, though, whether she provides a significant long-term boost to the ratings.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. legion says:

    Indeed. The pre-broadcast hype pretty much guarranteed these ratings; ergo they are meaningless. The key will be whether a significant fraction of those people will actually tune in for a second or third helping of “infotainment”.

  2. Mark says:

    I think everyone tuned in just to get the first look at Suri Cruise!