Couric's Popularity Plummets as CBS Evening News Drops to Thrid Place

We know it sounds like a bad Sienfeld joke (aren't they all?) but what is the deal with Katie Couric?

Under her watchful eye, the former "Today" co-host has managed to pilot "The CBS Evening News" into a third place loser in the ratings war. Keep in mind that CBS is used to being in third place, but the number of people tuning out Couric and tuning in Brian Williams is surprising. Viewers seem to be abandoning the eye network newscast like rats from a sinking ship.

Nielsen Media Research says ABC's World News With Charles Gibson, won the week in the much sought-after 25-54 demographic group. However, according to ShowBiz Data, ABC wasn't the most watched newscast:

NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams continued to draw the most viewers, however -- 9,120,000 versus ABC's 9,000,000. By contrast, the Couric newscast appeared almost out of the running, with just 7,450,000 viewers -- 10 percent fewer viewers than those attracted by Bob Schieffer during the comparable week a year ago and the smallest audience for the Couric newscast since it was launched in September.

Maybe CBS' pick of Couric as the golden child cure-all for the networks ratings woes was not the right one. The numbers clearly seem to support this theory.

However, an article from throws down the sexism card and whines that it's not Couric's fault:

The bar is unreasonably high for any alpha female breaking into a field, says Marie C. Wilson, founder of the White House Project, a nonpartisan group that aims to advance women's leadership in all sectors.

"The first women always have to be 2 ½ times better than a man. ... We have so few women in these positions, when we get somebody in there, she has to be perfect. The pressure is enormous," Wilson said.

So is it the sexist notion that people are still hung up on the idea of a woman anchor in the national newscast, or is it simply just not THIS woman anchor?

Meanwhile, Dan Rather, who moved to Mark Cuban's HD Network after being canned from CBS has to be quietly grinning to himself while he watches all the fireworks from his new office.

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