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

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.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper To Be Traded For CBS’s Katie Couric?

If America can have our first black American president, why can’t we also have our first gay anchor during an evening news broadcast at a major TV network? 

The savvy and much admired Anderson Cooper from CNN is rumored to become the face of CBS News.  Cooper has proved his journalistic credentials over the years at CNN, and will bring a new and rejuvenating energy with him to CBS. 

Katie Couric never had the needed ‘heft’ and creditably for the job as anchor.  She will do much better in an interview format, which she has proved to be highly skilled.

I can only hope these rumors prove to be true.  And soon.

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Katie Couric Might Leave CBS Anchor Role In Weeks

Having never thought that Katie Couric was a good fit as the anchor for the CBS Evening News, I was not surprised to read the news today of a possible decision soon to replace her as anchor.  This comes just days after it was announced that finally she would get her own chance to moderate a presidential debate on CBS April 27th from North Carolina.  I had wondered when she would get a chance to do what every other anchor had done this campaign season.

The news today about her possible exit as anchor comes after awful ratings for the once proud CBS news division.  To be fair to Couric, the anchor role  was not the best way to showcase her better skills as an interviewer.  But I still think the return of the anchor chair to a more solid type of reporter is a great idea for CBS.

As The New York Times reports today there is plenty of speculation about her future.

However, rumors from CBS News and reported in the news media may have, inadvertently or not, done what the meeting failed to do: ensured Ms. Couric’s early departure.

Though some people close to Ms. Couric, as well as some professional associates, said Thursday they believed that it was now likely she would not remain as anchor through the election, and might even leave in the next few weeks, that point was adamantly denied by the senior executives closest to the decision.

“Katie is absolutely going to continue as anchor until the inauguration and very possibly beyond that,” one said.

The executives involved in the situation said that no discussions of Ms. Couric’s future had taken place since the February meeting. Yet the news that she and CBS were even considering an end to the first effort to have a woman as the primary anchor of a network news division surfaced in press reports in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere on Thursday, creating a situation that appeared to leave Ms. Couric vulnerable.

“She’s not a definite lame duck,” a senior executive who has been close to the situation said. “Nothing is decided.”

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