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Few see Couric's foreign reporting

September 12, 2007|From the Associated Press

If some people thought traveling to Iraq and Syria was a ratings stunt for Katie Couric, it didn't work out that way.

The "CBS Evening News" tied a record low with just under 5.5 million viewers last week, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday. Last week and Memorial Day week are the two least-watched CBS evening newscasts since at least 1987 and probably far earlier.

CBS said it wasn't surprising and argued that last week's numbers were artificially deflated because of U.S. Open coverage.

The trip's journalism outweighed commercial considerations, said CBS News President Sean McManus.

"We never expected it to do well in the ratings, and it didn't," McManus said. "We knew that this was a long-term commitment to Katie and the show, and we really felt it was important to establish our reporting there."

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