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September 6, 2006
Katie bombs in Sac

JV BRIAN WILLIAMS TIGHT.JPG
Well, the overnight ratings are in, and Katie Couric's debut Tuesday night as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" finished far behind "The NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" in the Sacramento market.

Tale of the tape: Williams (pictured at left) pulled in a 9.9 rating and 19.9 share, Couric a 4.1 rating and 8.2 share. Oh, by the way, that Charles Gibson guy on ABC? He garnered a 3.3 rating, 6.7 share. Univision's network news got a 3.2 and 7.0.

(Obligatory jargon explanation: Ratings chart the percentage of all homes with TVs; shares measure the number of TV sets turned on at a particular time.)

Good news for news junkies, though: All the newscasts beat reruns of Fox40's "King of the Hill" (2.3, 7.0).

Bruno Cohen, president of the CBS-owned stations (channels 13 and 31) in Sacramento, was philosophical about Couric's numbers.

"We’re still in the shadow of the strength of KCRA (at 5 p.m.)," Cohen says. "There’s four decades of strength there. It could’ve been Dave (Walker)and Lois (Hart), but it could’ve been you and me as a lead-in for KCRA, and we’d do a 9 rating. But the thing that’s encouraging is that our audience built for 4 o’clock up until 5:30 (when Couric debuted). Our 4 o'clock news got a 5 share, and it went up to a 6 share at 5 (o'clock) and then 8 for Katie."

Nationally, Couric beat Williams in the ratings race. She garnered a 9.1 rating, 17 share, Williams 5.3 and 10.

Says CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus in a statement: “We’re encouraged by last night’s numbers, but what’s more important is what the audience will be six months and a year from now.”

And now, for the really important Couric news, here's my fashionista colleague Leigh Grogan....

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