Blogger> Mediarambo: It's official...what will Cronkite and Rather think?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It's official...what will Cronkite and Rather think?

I did not expect this morning's confirmation by Katie Couric of NBC's Today show that she will indeed be going over to CBS News. Worst kept secret and yet we needed to hear that it's official. There will be few who will think that this will work for CBS Evening News. I agree. That it will work for 60 Minutes? Doubtful, as that show seems to be on its last legs, especially with the departure of Mike Wallace. So, why the move? If I had a choice I rather be driven to work in a limousine in the early hours rather than to rush for an evening job and possibly having to stick around for breaking news updates when other mortals are relaxing after an evening meal with their families. Also, we will soon hear medical assessments of the move. Is it healthy to change a sleep pattern after 15 years? So many unknowns but the worst part of it is that it may not be worth the hassle. Evening newscasts with a strong anchor personality has been the tradition. Witness ABC's attempts to break out of the traditional model. Who is still religiously watching the evening news on any network? I'll venture to say that it's mostly the boomer generation. How much actual news there is in an average CBS, ABC, NBC evening broadcast? 10 minutes at the most on a non-disaster day. The rest is health, funny animals, and longer in-depth pieces that try to show the viewer that it is worthwhile to tune in. Still, it is probably the first ten minutes which determines whether we want to stick around for the rest of the half-hour. If Katie sounds too much and looks too much like a morning host to an audience that is exhausted after a day's work than there will be a clash of civilizations. Another consideration: who decides what to switch on in the morning and in the evening. Is it not the guy who is given the power in the evening and the woman in the morning? The network news shows have the statistic as to how many people are watching them but are they ever gender based? Are only guys watching in the evening? This would explain why news content with violence often dominates the first few minutes if the day's political news is relatively peaceful. The networks know this, so why the possible risk with Katie? Could it be that CBS is preparing for a revolution in its Evening News. Expanding to an hour? Creating a morning format for the evening? Dare I say the word? Tabloid CBS Evening News? A cross between CNN's Situation Room and Paula Zahn? Would a lone Katie be the sole anchor in such a scenario. Is she is too nice for that. So who? Two women? A man and a woman (if memories of Dan and Connie are put aside)? And we go back to the politically incorrect question. Are guys willing to have a woman anchor their evening news? Or do they prefer a Schieffer or Williams to wrap up what passes for in America as the news of the day? By the way, no such 'dilemmas' in Europe. From France to Poland, it is perfectly acceptable to have women anchors for the main evening newscasts. In some countries they even seem to dominate the television screens. But in the US, it is still news what we had confirmed today with our morning coffee. And we can be sure that it will be the topic of conversation at many tables tonight and possibly fodder for spousel arguments. It will be interesting to see how Katie copes tonight with Larry King on CNN, this evening's most important program to watch.


Blogger Auto-mate said...

In the beginning, there was Barbara Walters. Then, a brave network aired the very engaging series Commander-in-Chief with that very credible, classy Geena Davis. Now the "Force" breaks through the old boys club of U.S. evening news and plants a very credible female media star in one of the most influential positions in the country. The next step may well be moving The View to prime time.

You may be on to something here. Kathie Couric's big move may be indictive of a fundamental shift in the American social and political landscape. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the next First Husband laying the ground work for his return to the White House (albeit, in a supporting role). Stay tuned.

House Husband

9:11 PM


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