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Couric and the Half-Hour News Broadcast

Dueling Katie Couric headlines today. First from the Chicago Tribune:

Couric feeling more at ease

And then from the Philly Inquirer:

CBS evening blues; Katie Couric hasn’t redeemed the No. 3 newscast. Can she survive as anchor?

Worth noting from the second, more pessimistic piece:

Jennifer Pozner, executive director of New York’s Women in Media & News, an educational and advocacy group, labels it “an infotainment issue.”
“Couric came from Today, where bits of hard news are interspersed with diet tips and fall fashions.” Had CBS hired Today coanchor Matt Lauer, the results would have been the same, Pozner says.
“Neither of them has the journalistic chops for the job. It’s absolutely ridiculous that CBS wouldn’t have predicted this.”

Has everyone forgotten that ABC’s Charlie Gibson, the only half-hour network news anchor whose ratings actually improved this year, came from Good Morning America? Gibson is succeeding for the same reason Bob Schieffer succeeded as interim anchor at CBS: He’s the same age as most half-hour network news viewers.


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