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Couric crashing costs Producer his job at CBS News

Despite the much-ballyhooed hiring of Katie Couric as anchor for the CBS Evening News, her tenure has seen the show's ratings slip beneath the numbers interim anchor Bob Schieffer was drawing a year ago. Just as in baseball, when the $15 million a year players aren't producing, the manager gets fired. In this case, it is Couric's producer. Bill Carter reports for The New York Times:

In the latest disruption, CBS News replaced Rome Hartman, the executive producer of the "Evening News with Katie Couric," with the long-time TV news executive and producer Rick Kaplan, said several people who were informed of the move.

The decision follows a run of disappointing ratings for the CBS newscast, which had introduced Ms. Couric as its anchor with great fanfare in September. Though the program initially scored impressive ratings, and had increased ratings among some audience groups like younger women, it had sunk back to its long-established spot of last place among the three network newscasts in terms of total viewers.

In recent weeks, the newscast had fallen short of the audience totals achieved this time last year by Bob Schieffer, the anchor that Ms. Couric replaced. CBS executives had made it clear that they expected the program to be more competitive.

CBS News executives, contacted last night, declined to comment. But two of the people who were informed of the decision said that Mr. Hartman was told after last night's newscast.

Read the whole story at the link above (free registration may be required, which you can avoid by visiting BugMeNot.com to get a preapproved username and password).

Brian Williams is also in the red at NBC. It seems the tide towards the cutest talking heads may have crested. At the very least, it has jumped the shark.

Comments (9)

Happened with Jim Moira at ... (Below threshold)

Happened with Jim Moira at Atlanta too

So very few care to watch a... (Below threshold)

So very few care to watch a far left moonbat, and this guy loses his job because of it/her. Cant wait to see all of the liberal compassion for him, and the 100's of job offers he'll receive from the people who claim to care.

Perhaps they could try pair... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Perhaps they could try pairing her up with John Edwards; could bill them as "Miss Perky and her Silky Pony".

It must be something in the... (Below threshold)

It must be something in the water at CBS. For over a decade, their previous big-name anchor Dan Rather blew chunks in the ratings, consistently coming in 3rd place. This went on week after week, year after year and his job was never in danger.

Has anyone else noticed a s... (Below threshold)

Has anyone else noticed a subtle change in Couric's looks?

I suspect she has had a facial "tune-up".

Recently on The View, Rosie said that Greta Van Susteren, FNC, lost all her credibility when she had a facelift.

I suspect that's the problem. The perky Miss Katie has lost credibility with CBS' liberal viewers.

I just can't wait to tell Nancy Pelosi!

How does this bubble headed... (Below threshold)

How does this bubble headed bleach blonde qualify to anchor the evening news?...there's your trouble.

Glad to hear Brian Williams... (Below threshold)

Glad to hear Brian Williams is tanking: his arrogant, pretty-boy-perched-on-a-chair reporting from the French Quarter of New Orleans during Katrina was demonstrative of his preening and insubstantial character.

As for Katie Couric, she is, ultimately, an entertainment "presenter" (which is what they call their game show hostesses / teleprompter-reading personalities in the U.K.) trying to be taken seriously as the moral voice of a legacy network. I find her less grating reading the news than I did when she performed on "Today", but let's face it: America expects to see Katie Couric talking to celebrity chefs and quizzing George Clooney whilst flipping her Manolo Blahnik mule off the end of her perma-tanned foot. They do not want her not telling us what's taking place in Iraq.

The only question left is whether Kaplan is the last producer Les Moonves will hire, or if he will continue to give Katie as many producers as it takes to turn her into "The Female Walter Cronkite".

"The only question left ... (Below threshold)

"The only question left is whether Kaplan is the last producer Les Moonves will hire, or if he will continue to give Katie as many producers as it takes to turn her into "The Female Walter Cronkite".

Unfortunately, Couric was Moonves' idea and he will turn the news division upside down before admitting his mistake. Funny but C&BS news still don't understand that their problem is not their format, their talking head, or any of the other "fluff"...the problem is their integrity.

You can't really draw any p... (Below threshold)

You can't really draw any political conclusions into the ratings failure of Katie Couric.

The CBS EVENING NEWS started out strong in the ratings, but a strange format unlike the more traditional NBC or ABC news seemed to throw many viewers like me off, where the CBS news just seemed to be unfulfilling despite excellent reports like those from excellent Iraq reporter, Lara Logan.

This funny format style, probably influenced by Katie Couric's long time work at the TODAY SHOW just didn't work with CBS viewers all that well who expected a more traditional evening news program.

CBS viewers tend to be the oldest demographic as well, and possiby the least likely to accept an unconventional news format like this.

In my time zone, I can watch all three evening news, and the CBS one seems the weakest for content for some reason. But I do watch all three evening news programs regardless.






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