Being a network TV news anchor isn't like it used to be when stars such as Dan Rather ruled the roost. Just ask NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.

According to a new Pew Research survey, only 27 percent could identify Williams when shown a picture of him. Only 3 percent knew his job, and 2 percent mistakenly thought he was Vice President Joe Biden.

By comparison, back in 1985 when Americans were shown a picture of CBS News anchor Rather, 47 percent knew his name.

It’s probably a sign of the times as network TV viewing, especially network news watching, has plummeted.

Pew found that nightly news viewing has been cut by more than half. Said Pew: “In Pew Research Center news consumption surveys, the share of Americans who say they regularly watch a nightly network news program has declined from 60% in 1993 (the earliest available measure) to just 27% in 2012.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at