Low ratings for "Evening News" are a setback for CBS, which had received plenty of critical acclaim for the Schieffer-led broadcast. Schieffer scored a notable scoop on the Minnesota school shooting story in his first week on the air, and the newscast showcased his conversational style via live Q&As with correspondents.
CBS has averaged a little more than 6.8 million viewers in Schieffer's first six weeks at the helm, down 7% from the same period last year. NBC also was down 7% in the same period from last year, while ABC was flat.
This should come as no surprise since Dan Rather had basically managed to whittle his audience down to a small core of extremely loyal fans. With him out of the picture, the ratings will go down. With no real structural changes to the CBS news division, it's hard to see how Schieffer can win over disaffected viewers, especially those who perceive the network as liberally biased.