Monday, April 03, 2006
Mistake of Couric magnetude
Katie Couric is will anchor the CBS Evening News. Count on it. The announcement is coming any minute. She'll sign a deal for even more than the $65 Million NBC paid her to do the Today Show. This will go down as the biggest media blunder of all time. This post is just to "go on the record" - that I see catastrophe on the horizon. Frankly, I'm amazed that CBS executives don't see this coming. Maybe it's because CBS executives are executives and not broadcasters. That's the way it is these days. Maybe a bunch of young "suits" are pulling the strings at CBS. I don't know. What I do know is this.
CBS veteran newspeople are outraged. Outraged that not one of their own got the anchor seat. Katie is, after all, from across the street. White House correspondent John Roberts was the first to jump ship. Who can blame him. It was rumored for years that he'd replace Rather. When it didn't happen he called his agent. There are many agents being called this week. Contracts will not be renegotiated. Staffers will flat out quit. The ones that stay will want to see Couric fail. Why wouldn't they? She'll get the spotlight, the cash & the short workday.
Why else will CBS staff want to hang Katie out to dry? Because she comes from the wasteland on morning television. In the credibility wars, pre - 9am doesn't get alot of respect. The Today Show signed on with a sidekick monkey. Today is cooking segments & showbiz fluff peppered with the headlines of the day. Katie's on Skis!!!! You never saw Edward R. Murrow on skis. The hallowed halls of the Tiffany network, built by Murrow & Cronkite will smell of perky - any day now.
You thought CBS ratings were bad with Rather? Look for ratings to sink to new depths. Sure, I'll tune in to see how she does - we all will - and early ratings will indicate this - but they won't last. CBS certainly is figuring out how feature her gams on camera. It'd be ashame to hide those legs behind a desk.
I don't even work at CBS and I wanna call my Agent. "You haven't had an agent for 20 years Bri." OK - I'll hire one again just for this occasion.