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I Am Glad Katie Couric Ending Her Time At CBS Evening News

April 25, 2011

Who will be the next anchor of the CBS Evening News?  That is the big question that many are asking these days in light of the news that Katie Couric will soon be departing from the anchor desk.  I am hoping and trusting that a new anchor will be found that will be the opposite of the one being replaced.

This week, Katie Couric is finally planning to acknowledge she is leaving the CBS Evening News after five years.   Couric is in London this week, where she will be anchoring the network’s coverage of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  Next week CBS will announce her successor.

I admit to not liking Couric as the anchor of the CBS Evening News, and so am looking forward to a new chapter at the network.  I have been critical of Couric for a number of years and for a variety of reasons. 

In July 2006 I was critical of Couric’s statement that she would not report from the ‘hot spots’ in the Middle East.

When  Wisconsin Assembly Republican Minority Leader Betty Jo Nelson told her colleagues many years ago that she did not want to extend the legislative floor period in December as it would cut into her cookie baking time she gave women in her profession a black eye. When Katie Couric stated that she would not go to the Middle East war zone as CBS News anchor due to family reasons she not only gave women journalists a black eye, but sent all news professionals into chills.

There is a duty as a journalist to go where the news is and often times that means into the lion’s den.  When Frank Reynolds, Dan Rather, Edward R Murrow, and countless other news reporters ventured into war zones and international hot spots they all had loved ones they worried about.  They had personal responsibilities to attend, but knew as reporters they all had a duty to the truth.  To see the truth of war you need to see the action, talk with the combatants, and understand the nuances of the conflict that can’t be understood by sitting in a safe studio in New York.

During the opening night in September 2006 of her run as CBS News anchor I was floored when international news stories were dropped so that she could offer photos during the newscast of  Tom Cruise’s baby!

Couric did lead off with Afghanistan which featured a female reporter and allowed more time than usual for the story to be told.  But after that, there appeared to be no other international news taking place.  (In reality Calderon was announced to be the new leader of our neighbor, Mexico.  The United Nations had strong words for the Sudanese government over the Darfur crisis, and British politicians were talking like crazy over when Prime Minister Blair was set to sail from 10 Downing Street)

Couric did not have time for those stories because Tom Cruise spawned a child and I supposedly wanted to see photos.  Whatever that “photo’ part of the newscast is all about I predict it will soon be jettisoned.  It was like a Led Zeppelin song during Sunday morning services.  I have already posted my thoughts on having a commentator segment during the news, and while I applaud that move, I do think there has to be some requirement for “gravitas” and not open it up for just every person with a wedgie. 

I understand the evening news broadcasts have changed and morphed from what they once were when I was a teenager.  But I would hope that the ones making the decisions at the Tiffany Network might recall what they once were, and what they once represented, and let that guide them when making the call about the next anchor of the CBS Evening News.

7 Comments
  1. April 27, 2011 2:36 AM

    My feeling after posting comments on her CBS Evening News for some time and watching her for several years give us the news is that Katie is a quintessential news person and a delightful lady. I think she will out do her success attained with her next project which may allow her more self expression.

  2. April 26, 2011 11:45 AM

    If Led Zeppelin recorded a version of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” then no problem with Led Zeppelin at Sunday Services.

    Goodbye Katie Cupcake. Did you and Mayor Bloomberg ever find the “white guy” that tried to set a bomb off in Times Square??

    Scott Pelley is the man to replace “Perky”.

  3. Bruce permalink
    April 26, 2011 11:07 AM

    I’ve never been a big fan of Couric anchoring the Evening News. I liked her a lot better on the Today Show, which has always been my favorite morning show.

    Whover is chosen to replace Couric at CBS will be measured against the gold standard set by Walter Cronkite all those years ago. I’m not sure if it’s possible to find anyone of that caliber anymore.

    P.S. What’s the perfect Led Zeppelin song for Sunday morning services?

    “Stairway to Heaven”, of course! (somebody had to say it)

  4. April 25, 2011 11:26 PM

    Mlerc,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I do really need to just pull one line out and make a statement about it as reporters and journalists on this blog always get high praise. I think reporters are perhaps the most important part of our ‘system’ as they keep us informed and educated about government, etc.

    You state, “Most of the hot spots in the past did not have reporters being shot at, not to mention killed”

    This is just not so.

    The list is endless where reporters were shot at while reporting, and even injured. Ron Nessen working for NBC News at the time of the Vietnam War is one example. Dan Rather was on the front lines as the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. Bob Woodruff took a direct hit to the left side of his head and upper body while reporting in Iraq.

  5. mlerc permalink
    April 25, 2011 10:58 PM

    OK, so we disagree. I actually started to watch broadcast news once Katie took over. Your dislike is transparent. I think you should actually watch her once in a while again. Last I checked she was not married; most of the male reporters that you quoted going to hot spots in the past had spouses to care for their families. Most of the hot spots in the past did not have reporters being shot at, not to mention killed. Some of them were talking heads, and added no more than the reporter standing outside in the rain talking about bad weather. I like the end of the program when she provides an American person or story that is not headlines, but human. She does not do it; a male reporter does it. Very human.

  6. April 25, 2011 10:58 PM

    Your disillusionment with Couric is akin to my disillusionment with much of the American media. Too much emphasis on fluff and a reluctance to tackle the hard stories results in mediocre news.

  7. David R Velasquez permalink
    April 25, 2011 6:37 PM

    What’s wrong with having a Led Zeppelin song during Sunday morning services?

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