Katietrumpbyap Ok, so it looks like it's Katie Couric to the CBS anchor chair. Do you care?

Philly blogger and barrister Adam Bonin, of A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago, doesn't:

"Even if we'll all concede that this matters in terms of a glass ceiling breaking moment, will this matter in terms of your life?

When was the last time you watched a network evening news show? (And relatedly, does the anchor determine which channel you'll watch for breaking news?)

Was it a switch in the seat that hiked CBS's numbers by 740,000 viewers in the year since veteran correspondent Bob Schieffer took over for anchorman Dan Rather? What does it say that so many more people tuned into a glitzless, trusted journeyman?

One of ALOTTFMA's readers, named KCosmo, replies:

Gravatar I have not watched the evening news -- or any network news with the exception of the occasional first ten minutes of the Today show -- in years. Maybe decades. But I would make a point of watching Couric at least a few times. I'm still probably likely to watch CNN in a crisis, as I have ever since Gulf War I, but I'd at least consider CBS.

Another of the blog's commenters, CG, wrote of never watching the evening news. So did one named Ticky. And Gretchen, "unless I'm in a retro phase." Found one faithful Eye watcher there, Kevbo Nobo, who wrote: Gravatar "I have actually viewed the CBS evening news off and on for quite some time, perhaps out of nostalgia for Walter Cronkite."

Who's been gone for a quarter century (March, 6, 1981).

PSOTD, formerly Political Site of the Day, describes Couric's leaving NBC's Today Show as "Great news for the Today Show."

Suburban Guerrilla headlines news of Couric's expected move with an ironic, "Mission Accomplished:"

As little as I watch network news, when I do watch it, it's usually CBS. But with Katie "Navy SEALS Rock!" Couric at the helm, I won't watch at all.

This is a little like shooting fish in a barrel, checking what the blogosphere is saying about the prime time move. One would assume there is a natural, new-media antipathy toward something as passe, pasteurized and profit-driven as network news. But my methodology was innocent enough: check the most recent posts about Couric on the Philly Future news aggregator, which collects posts from a few hundred Philadelphia-area bloggers.

So, to find someone saying something nice somewhere, I had to turn outside of Philadelphia. I ran the same search on Technorati. (I did get stopped by that video of the Italian prime minister sampling a local delicacy. Good morning!)

First post: "Sign Of The Apocalypse #30: Katie Couric heads to CBS." Isn't that a little heavy handed?

No, says liberal blogger Michael J.W. Stickings:

This isn't about the news, not about broadcasting integrity or excellence. It's about entertainment. It's Network. We've known this all along, of course, but now it's just so transparent. And so grotesque. Consider this: "Couric's pending departure has been the focus of intense media speculation, both because of her celebrity and the historic nature of the move." ...

Other than her celebrity, which is what this is about, is this 'historic?' Well, it's different. No woman has ever hosted a nightly network news broadcast by herself. Fair enough. But then why not hire Couric's possible replacement at Today, Meredith Vieira, currently co-host of The View? She's a former 60 Minutes correspondent "with deep roots in network news." Well, because she's not enough of a celebrity, because she's not a celebrity of Couric's caliber.

Ok, one last try. I'm going to a conservative site. Let's try Pajamas Media. They choose a cheery head, "The Death of Network News:"

"Predictions were that the retirements of the "Big 3" (Jennings, Brokaw and Rather) would lead to the death of the traditional nightly newscast. That was wrong, but this just might do it," Cori Dauber writes at RantingProfs upon reading that Katie Couric may be the anchor of CBS’ nightly network news show.

Or Lawrence Laurence Simon:

I still won't watch. Even if I get home in time, I've got better things to do that sit for half-and-hour listening to an evening newscast summary (I don't watch, since I'm puttering around cleaning litterboxes, watering the plants, baking bread, and doing other things).

If you watch an evening newscast with a stopwatch and a clipboard, there's more non-news content than news content. Commercials, teasers, graphics, intros, promos for other programs, and outtros are a lot of cereal filler in that hot dog, and there's more non-news content being added every day.

Tough crowd.

Posted 04/05/2006 08:40:27 AM

It's going to be hard for CBS to sell the idea that Katie is a "real" journalist after all of her fawning over celebrities, flirting with the boys, and acting like a fool on Today. That show is practically an embarrassment, kind of a Jerry Springer in the Morning (except the guests generally leave their shirts on). Total numbers of people watching don't mean it's good. After all, millions of people watch Adam Sandler movies. Good luck, CBS.

Citizen Mom
Posted 04/05/2006 09:37:47 AM

I stand by what I wrote in Dec. 04 on this topic: Katie's fine doing the weeping widow interviews, but leave the real news to the real journalists. Besides, doesn't anyone else think Elizabeth Vargas kind of stole the thunder already, since she's been de facto solo anchor for weeks now?

That Dude
Posted 04/05/2006 10:12:12 AM

Another depserate move by Les(isn't more) Moonves. This one will fail miserably as well. It was covered in your post, but who watches the evening news anymore? If your someone inclined to watch the news you are going to head over to FOX or CNN. The Evening news is largely irrelevant. What's scary is that the Today show is looking at Meredith Viera...MARRONE. Funny Katie moment...I was watching Today the Monday after the Pitt/Aniston divorce headline hit and she comments "I heard about it over the weekend and I was stunned, I actually called the NBC newsdesk to find out of it was true" I mean are you freaking kidding me? This is CBS...lol

Posted 04/05/2006 10:18:39 AM

I'm with those "don't watch news" people. Last time I watched the news was after my friend's wedding, which was on the day of the December 2003 snowstorm. I don't even know which station showed up but there I was on Saturday night news for a very brief time. It sorta felt like we were the only ones watching. But, I'm on the side that thinks TV is a waste of time unless there's sports on or you're watching one of those learning stations, like History or Discovery. They rock. But, I wish her the best of luck.

Posted 04/05/2006 10:58:04 AM

I am always amused that people watch the evening network/local news based on what person is reading off of a teleprompter. One thing positive about this is that CBS is finally getting past the mature white guy from the midwest being the only credible deliverer of the flagship nightly news. However, not too long ago, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather actually edited the news that they read on the broadcast with each of them having decades of experience in news gathering and reporting. Walter Cronkite worked for UPI during WWII as a field correspondent. Now, CBS has cut to the chase and figures that we are indeed so superficial that someone is going to tune into a broadcast exclusively based on the their image exclusive of any hard news experience. I can't imgaine that Ms. Couric will be the Managing Editor of the broadcast, as have her predecessors, due to her lack of journalist experience. One would think that CBS would have someone, male or female, on their news staff that would have more credibility in this area. The American public is poorly served by all TV broadcast media in delivering the news which emphasizes the substance over the superficial. Everything that was predicted in the movie "Broadcast News" has finally come to pass.

Citizen Mom
Posted 04/05/2006 12:31:50 PM


Posted 04/05/2006 02:29:33 PM

This doesn't matter for the evening news, because it's a near-extinct breed. I do think it will matter a great deal for breaking news and official events (State of the Union, etc.), and I think it's cool. It just doesn't matter for me because my brother's a producer at CNN, and I've got my loyalties . . .

Laurence Simon
Posted 04/05/2006 06:52:21 PM

How should I misspell your name?

Daniel Rubin
Posted 04/05/2006 07:41:09 PM

any way you want, pal. shouldn't you be baking bread?

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