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Monday, July 17, 2006

So how long will Katie last?

Katie Couric, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition

When Couric Broadcasts the News, Some Radio and Web Sites Will Too

Published: July 17, 2006

PASADENA, Calif., July 16 — When a network evening newscast passes the anchor’s baton, viewers have come to expect an overhauled set, music and graphics. But for Sept. 5, when Katie Couric takes over on “The CBS Evening News,” the network is planning more widespread changes, including fanning the newscast out across different media, including radio and the Web, to capture a wider audience.

Taking questions from more than 200 television critics gathered here on Sunday for their semiannual meeting, Ms. Couric and Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports, outlined some of what Mr. McManus calls “expansive and in many ways unprecedented” changes that will come when Ms. Couric takes over from Bob Schieffer and becomes the first female sole anchor of a major network newscast.

“The CBS Evening News is going to be showcased on the radio,” said Mr. McManus, “which is new and it’s different and I think will further expose our product to a lot of people.”

The multiplatform strategy will involve simulcasting the first segment of the evening news on CBS Radio News, which will be made available to its more than 500 affiliated stations around the country. Already committed to the simulcast are WCBS-AM in New York, WTOP radio in Washington and WBZ in Boston.

For how long.

Elizabeth Vargas lasted six months, Barbara Walters, what, a year? I figure by the November ratings, Les Moonves is unemployed to the daily cackles of Howard Stern and Couric is doing something else.

The odd thing is that it isn't about her being a woman as much as her personality. She's much too upbeat for the daily drama of the news. I mean, this just seems like a bad idea by a man with no feel for the news. CNN proves women can anchor the News. The problem for CBS is that they didn't hire one of them. Network anchor isn't just a job, it is the face of the world for most Americans. When serious things happen, we turn to the network news and the anchors. Do people want to turn to Katie Couric for the news?

posted by Steve @ 1:27:00 AM

1:27:00 AM

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