April 5, 2006

Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira...

Do you care? I don't.

40 comments:

Dave said...

Who are these people?

reader_iam said...

NBC's "gain" is CBS's "loss."

I'll be able to watch the Today Show again occasionally, and CBS has sufficiently tarnished itself anyway that I stopped watching its prime time news quite a while ago.

So if being glad to see her leave counts as caring, I suppose I do.

I like Meredith Viera, by the way. Back in the day, she did some very fine work and she's so much smarter and more talented than Ms. Couric.

MadisonMan said...

Back when I watched TV, I really liked Bob Schieffer. It's too bad he's being shoved aside for someone who is, frankly, dumber.

Dave said...

Duh.

Now I know who these people are. It took me looking at the NY Times to figure it out.

See, the Times is good for something.

TWM said...

Not a bit. I haven't watched Today in many years and I have never watched The View.

Prediction -- CBS Evening News ratings actually goes down with the move.

Melinda said...

Katie Who? Meredith Who? We watch NY1, our local all-news cable station, every morning.

Don't know if there's an equivalent to NY1 in other cities, but I can set my watch based on which feature is on.

Dave said...

I can't stand NY1...

Sloanasaurus said...

Couric... just one lefty replacing another on the CBS News. Why is it news?

Icepick said...

I don't really care, but I read the story anyway. For me the most telling quote was:

The bold move simultaneously forces NBC to find a new team for "Today," television's most profitable news program, and gives CBS News President Sean McManus a major success in his effort to lure more stars to his beleaguered news organization.

It's good to see that these organizations are admitting (1) that the important thing is the profitability of their programs, and (2) a major success for a TV news organization is which "stars" it can hire. Somebody cue that Don Henley song!

CB said...

Does anybody under the age of seventy even watch network news? (Not including, of course, bloggers looking for signs of bias)

reader_iam said...

CB: Aren't you sorry you asked?

A major factor in all such calculations is the age of the audience of the network evening news. The evening newscasts, according to information from the December 2005 edition of MAGNA Global’s quarterly “daypart briefings” report, skews older than any other component of network programming. An expanding range of media options heightens this concern. Age groups that once naturally began watching the nightly newscast as they spent evenings at home with their families may now be as likely to turn to online or other alternative resources for news.

According to the December season-to-date numbers, the median age of nightly network news viewers remained basically unchanged at roughly 60.5 But the figures were not the same across the board. The median age of two of the Big Three’s broadcasts, ABC and NBC, was slightly younger in 2005. The CBS Evening News audience, fronted in 2005 by 66-year-old Bob Schieffer, was older compared to data from 2004.

The changes naturally raise the question whether placing younger people in the anchor chairs (the NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is 46, ABC’s Bob Woodruff is 44 and Elizabeth Vargas is 43) will attract younger viewers. Or do the limitations of time slot, the pull against innovation for fear of losing the existing audience base, and the traditional anchor-dominated style of an 18-minute evening newscast put inevitable limits on how much younger viewers will gravitate to those programs?
[Emphasis added.]

Median meaning, of course, that half fall above and half below the referenced number.

J said...

"The bold move simultaneously forces NBC to find a new team for "Today," television's most profitable news program, and gives CBS News President Sean McManus a major success in his effort to lure more stars to his beleaguered news organization."

See, he can be more like Lloyd Braun if he tries.

Why is this a bold move? I doubt she needs the money, and it will be fun to say she's the first solo anchor on a network evening news broadcast, even if it is a fading format. Hopefully she'll be able to avoid ending up on a really embarrassing show on MSNBC with Connie Chung's husband (no, I'm not MSNBC's viewer - I hit a wrong digit on the way to FNC and saw it by accident).

For The Today Show, Viera would be a good replacement. Star Jones too. But the perfect replacement would be Tracy Morgan imitating Star Jones.

reader_iam said...

I did watch The View a few years back (it coincided with a feeding time for my kid, as a baby) and have caught a few times since, and I like Meredith's personality and sense of not taking herself too seriously (unlike Couric).

But that's not why I admire her. She did some great work on 60 Minutes (1989-91, before it lost a lot of credibility), West 57th Street, and Turning Point, plus a bunch of specials and stints on primetime news casts starting in 1982. Obviously, she has local news experience, too. She's very sharp and has won a raft of (well-deserved) Emmy awards for reportage on serious issues.

reader_iam said...

She left "the maw and grind" when she got pregnant, at 40ish, with her first child. And she's married to another journalist, who has been struggling with MS for 30 years and has also battled cancer.

She's real, she's made tradeoffs, she's not pretentious, and, again, she's very, very smart.

Can you tell I have found her inspirational in more than one area for more than 20 years?

And I tend to be a skeptic when it comes to public figures.

Now I'm done.

jakemanjack said...

Katie Couric is a Democrat. She is the perfect person to replace Dan Rather.

al said...

So Katie is going to get 15 mil a year to read off a teleprompter? Good gig I suppose.

What an incredible waste of money.

knoxgirl said...

zzzzzzzz... wha?

Bruce Hayden said...

If they had really wanted to change things up at CBS, they wouldn't have hired another blatant liberal, but rather someone like Ann Coulter. Yes, it would have alienated their retirement aged viewing audience, but they are dying off all ready. No surprise that the most liberal network news channel also has the oldest demographics. They have staked out precisely the wrong part of the market - the part that is shrinking the fastest because it is dying out.

bill said...

I hope the Today show notifies the DNC that the fax number for talking points has changed.

SteveR said...

I am okay with Merideth Viera and I wish her well, not that I ever watch the Today Show. I can get more information (and entertainment)in 15 minutes on the computer, than a week of the Today Show.

Katie Couric, I couldn't care less about her or CBS News.

Menlo Bob said...

So the pig will now be wearing a dress?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

This could create a domino effect.

If Viera leaves "The View", who will BabaWaWa select for the 40-something white gal demographic? Maybe Ann Curry! [and she's oh-so-much-more than just plain white, but loved by the white girls, too.]

Then that would leave a hole over at the Today Show News Desk. Who to fill it?

Who else?? Baba Wawa!! [and a player to be named later].

reader_iam said...

Interesting re: the 40-something white gal demographic.

Meredith is actually 55, though now that I think about it, I suppose she does play "younger." Does she?

I bet Ann Curry wouldn't go for it, though.

Aspasia M. said...

Interesting re: the 40-something Meredith is actually 55, though now that I think about it, I suppose she does play "younger." Does she?

Meredith Vieira is energetic, she looks young and her children are still in school. I think this causes us to assume that she's younger then her age.

Like Reader Iam, I also like Meredith Vieira.

reader_iam said...

D'oh! Just lovin' the way I managed to mistype Meredith Vieira's last name every time. Even THIS time I had to backspace 3X.

Anyone care to guess how very large my customized autocorrect directory in Word is?

Blechhh.

reader_iam said...

D'oh! Just lovin' the way I managed to mistype Meredith Vieira's last name every time. Even THIS time I had to backspace 3X.

Anyone care to guess how very large my customized autocorrect directory in Word is?

Blechhh.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Meredith Vieira seems down to earth and has a certain body of work that is respectable. She ought to be getting an anchor position.

reader_iam said...

Don't think this matters, but according to--of course! yes! already!--a just-released poll, viewers would rather watch Couric in the morning, though more than half are favorably disposed to her.

But then, don't people tend to be creatures of habit, especially in the morning?

mango said...

I think the only way one could get a large group of people under the age of 50 to watch evening network news would be to hire Jon Stewart to do it.

lindsey said...

I can't stand Couric. Good riddance, Perky Pinch Face! I hate you!

somross said...

I love Katie Couric and am a Today Show addict - although I like the first 20 minutes of hard news best and am not crazy about most of the fluff. My mother watched it to keep sane with small kids at home when Dave Garroway was the host and I've watched it through all its hosts beginning in the early 1970s when I could - in fact, the first thing I do is turn on the TV at 6:55 a.m. so I can see its first story of the day. I'm thrilled she gets to be a news anchor. CBS could use a shot in the arm after the Dan Rather debacle.

AJ Lynch said...

Hard to believe not a single one of the three networks will admit their antique Evening News Business model is outdated and broken.

So, they keep hiring and promoting overpaid anchors. And to call the Today Show a "news" program is a stretch.

Couris seems like a nice girl but she is truly unable to mask her party loyalties in interviews.

Ann Althouse said...

Somross: Yeah, I remember seeing the chimpanzee on the show. I really didn't understand what the news was and that really didn't help bring the concept into focus.

Dawn said...

Katie will fit right in with the aging, out-of-touch libs at CBS News.

I don't have much good to say about Meredith either, after watching her and the other yentas on The View gang up on Laura Ingraham a few years back.
"Do all conservative women dye their hair blonde?"

Yeesh, get real. At least her face is her own...

LibrryLady said...

Hate to tell you Vierra fans, but she is probably more liberal than Couric. She marched in an anti-war/anti-Bush protest with her family in 2004.

Sean E said...

How does a lightweight like Couric end up as an anchor? Did Kelly Ripa and John Tesh want too much money?

reader_iam said...

Liberal or no, she has a solid background of fine work. Political leanings don't necessarily cancel that out, you know. Or maybe we don't anymore?

reader_iam said...

Now, if she's lost all sense of her interviewing skills and journalistic chops, that's a whole different ballgame.

(Brit Hume tracks right, and yet I've admired him for 20-odd years, too.)

reader_iam said...

Actually, in his case, make that quite a bit longer.

Grumpus said...

My thoughts:

I think that CBS has made an interesting decision. Whether it's the right one has yet to be seen.

As much as I loved Uncle Walter and Peter Jennings, the days of the "Voice of God" anchor are gone, and have been slipping away for years.

Cable (and the internet) has led to a more interactive format, one that Bob Schieffer has been leading at CBS for a while now. Bob has not been so much the traditional anchor, but more of a moderator for all of the reporters who file their story on the news.

I suspect that, in that format, Couric will do just fine. Yes, she can be a perky, pinchy-faced pain, but that's also what the "Today" show calls for. Even Edward R. Murrow - the man who for all intents and purposes defined network news - had "Person to Person", a show every bit as synchophantic to celebrities as any morning show.