Howard Kurtz is no anonymous source. He’s the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources and has written for the Washington Post. He’s also written five books on the news media and is currently the Washington Bureau Chief for Daily Beast.
At the outset, most critics thought she’d be ill suited for the job of anchoring a 30 minute evening news show on one of the three major broadcast networks.
You follow people like Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather with an ad-libbing, free flowing host of Today and you’re taking a major gamble.
CBS thought the gamble would pay off, but it hasn’t. While Couric remains as photogenic as she ever was and remains a very good interviewer, that stint on the CBS Evening News was too confining. The broadcast’s ratings plummeted and there were some instances where even cable’s Fox News were threatening to overtake it. That’s a bitter pill to swallow for CBS.
Anyone who can break it down like she famously did in this photo is probably not well suited for such a … structured … broadcast. Can’t feel the beat, if you know what I mean.
Another thing that struck critics was her reported $15 million annual salary at a time when CBS was cutting bureau staffs and looking for ways to save money in the face of relentless competition from both cable on on line news outlets.
But don’t cry for Katie. She’ll land on her feet somewhere and as Kurtz explains, she’s already looking at opportunities to compete with Oprah Winfrey.
Exit Question: Would you, or would you not? And you know what I’m asking.