The lastest nightly news ratings are out, and Brian Williams and his NBC Nightly News are losing to Charlie Gibson and World News Tonight. For his part, Williams calls it a “back-and-forth dogfight.” Although Katie Couric is in a distant third place, Nielsen reports that Williams has lost over 246,000 more viewers than Couric over the past 39 weeks. Good news for Couric and bad news for Williams, who also got some tough love from the AP‘s David Bauder:
The simplest possible explanation, and toughest to deal with: more people want to spend that half hour with Gibson than Williams. Gibson, 64, is an older man anchoring a news format favored by older viewers (Williams is 48). He’s also more affable and self-effacing on the air, with less starch than the more formal Williams. Some see Williams as talking to, rather than with, his audience.
As far as who we’d rather hang out with in a dive bar, the answer’s clear: Katie Couric.