01/09/2014 11:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Most Americans Have No Idea Who Brian Williams Is

Need proof that nightly news viewership is on a downward spiral? 53 percent of Americans surveyed by Pew Research Center in August could not identify this man:

brian williams nbc

That's right, it's Brian Williams, anchor for the highest rated evening news program, NBC Nightly News, and one of the top news anchors in the industry (definitely among the highest paid).

But in a new Pew Research Center survey on American's knowledge of news programs, only 27 percent of the public knew who Williams was. Three percent were at least able to identify him as an anchor or reporter, while 18 percent identified him as someone completely different including Tom Brokaw and Vice President Joe Biden.

Take a look:

brian williams

When the same survey was conducted in 1985, a time when approximately 48 million Americans said they watched at least one nightly news program, 47 percent of American's knew who former CBS evening news anchor Dan Rather was. Today, only about 24.5 million American's still say they watch the evening news, leading to the 20 percent decrease in familiarity, according to Nielsen Media Research.

And it's not just down among the key age demo, it's everyone:

brian williams nbc



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