After much speculation and flying rumors about Katie Couric stepping down from her high position as "CBS Evening News" anchor, the Associated Press has deemed the story fact, and the Washington Post was quick to report.
The Post did cite other examples that differed from AP's article which I believe gave it more credibility. The Post focused more on CBS and its competitors NBC and ABC, focusing on how Couric turned around CBS' third place status.
A whopping 14 million people watched her debut, to see what a news anchor who’s reportedly being paid $15 million a year salary, looks like and does.
Couric’s competition, NBC’s Brian Williams and ABC’s Charles Gibson, were left eating her dust that night, with average audiences of 7.8 million and 7.6 million, respectively.
The Post article was easy to read, despite the sea of names that flooded the page. Maybe it was the easily recognizable names, Brian Williams, Dan Rather and Oprah Winfrey. But even the unrecognizable players were mentioned with a brief explanation of their importance. There were no boxcar titles that buried the readability. For example "the then-CBS News President Sean McManus".
I liked that the article highlighed the feminity of Couric. It was important that she was the first woman to solo anchor a Big Three Newscast. I also liked the quote about why so many people tuned in.
Under McManus, the evening newscast had been overhauled to showcase Couric’s talent as an interviewer and, as some TV critics noted, her great legs, which we saw a lot of during her “Today” reign.
Both the AP article and Post story mentioned Couric's appearance on David Letterman's late night show a month ago. Probably because of the entertainment fact, this was my favorite part of the story, and in my opinion had the best quotes. According to the story, Letterman lectured Couric on her decision for a career change.
“Once you take that anchor chair, that’s what you do,” Letterman seemed to lecture her.
This was interesting and somewhat out of character for Letterman and the nature of his show.
“There’s a period of adjustment to get accustomed to the trust and build up faith in the character of the person presenting the news. And then you can’t just pull the rug out from under the viewers,” Letterman added, sternly.
I almost love how serious Letterman talked to Couric about her decision. Its clear he has concerns for her future, and I'm glad the stories written on the topic pointed this out.
The background information in the Post story was thorough, and maybe even too obvious, but I enjoyed the clarity and understanding I was able to take away from reading.
"Oprah Winfrey, who has reigned supreme for more than two decades, is calling it quits at the end of this season." This is clearly public information and something everyone has heard, but it was nice to have the pieces all out in front instead of having to pull back information that I heard a year ago and remember if I had all the facts right.
This could potentially be a major change for newsfotainment TV, I hope the papers continue to do an adequate job covering Couric's career. She has certainly set the bar for women journalists.