There’s more writing on Brian Williams’ wall.
Two days after the NBC News anchor apologized for lying about dodging danger during the Iraq War, his nightly newscast was beaten in the ratings by rival ABC’s “World News Tonight.”
ABC’s broadcast had 8.46 million viewers on Friday while NBC’s “Nightly News” had just under 8 million, the Nielsen company reported.
From time to time, ABC has beaten NBC in the daily ratings. On the previous Friday, Jan. 30, ABC outpaced NBC by almost 400,000 viewers.
But the latest Nielsen report is troubling for Williams and the Peacock Network because NBC has been consistently winning the ratings war on a week-to-week basis.
The new Nielsen numbers came after Williams announced he was temporarily leading the anchor chair for a few days — and after the attention-loving anchorman pulled out of a Thursday appearance on the David Letterman show.
Williams’ moves came on the heels of a report by the Daily News that NBC has launched an internal investigation into the his fibbing.
The 55-year-old anchor has taking flak for falsely claiming to have been on board a military chopper in Iraq that was forced down by enemy fire in 2003
Williams apologized Wednesday, saying he had made “a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago.”
“I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by (enemy) fire,” he said. “Instead, I was in the following aircraft.”
But Williams has repeatedly made this “mistake,” most recently in an on-air tribute to a retired soldier on Jan. 30.
Williams’ story unraveled when Stars and Stripes, a military newspaper, asked the chopper crew members about that day — and they refuted his version of events.
The anchorman arrived on a different helicopter about an hour after a Chinook with the 159th Aviation Regiment was shot down by enemy fire, the paper reported.