Monday, April 23, 2007

Katie Couric, Newsreader, Part II

Discontent at CBS is beginning to bubble to the surface. Bottom Line: No solid improvement in ratings. Plagiarism by Ghost. Clubhouse cancer.

From CBS’ point of view, if the ratings were there, no one would care about plagiarism – though that’s embarrassing enough, and made worse by calling the world’s attention to the fact that news anchors are merely teleprompter readers. And nobody cares if the star is a clubhouse cancer when you’re playing on a winning team.

Now that CBS isn’t showing signs of a turnaround, quotes like this are quite damaging to newsroom morale:

“Self-effacing isn't the first adjective that comes to mind with Couric. She arrived at CBS with her own group of producers, bookers and assistants, which didn't sit well with the staff.

‘She sees herself as a star and thinks the whole news department is here to serve her,’ says a longtime CBS correspondent.

Former anchors Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Schieffer ‘saw themselves as leaders of the journalistic team,’ the
correspondent says. ‘We felt we were part of something bigger than we were.’”

Memo to Ms. Couric: When you see items like this: “Network-news analyst Andrew Tyndall agrees. Evening News ‘is absolutely salvageable’”, you’ve got a real problem.