Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Wisdom of CBS's Executives

"An executive is a man who makes decisions and is sometimes right."
Mark Twain

They Came, Saw, Left: Couric Drops to 3rd

Associated Press
Wednesday, September 13, 2006; C07

NEW YORK, Sept. 12 -- Katie Couric led the "CBS Evening News" to its first weekly ratings win in more than five years, but her honeymoon may be short -- she slipped to third place on Monday.


Blogger Chez said...

Did anyone really not see this coming? Basically everyone in the business did. Les Moonves -- for all of his earned hubris -- had a chance to really reinvent the Evening News, and for a moment it looked like he was headed in that direction. Then at the last minute he gave in to convention and decided to pay too much money for a familiar face.

When I worked for CBS back during the mid-90s, there was a term I heard tossed around a lot (and remember that this was before CSI and Survivor brought the network out of its ratings coma); that term was "Proven Track Record." It's basically the reason why, even today, Gerald McCraney and Patrick Duffy continue to turn up on CBS shows and TV movies -- the network believes that if it worked before, it'll work again. It's constantly trying to recapture some kind of lost magic.

Moonves is now learning what he should've known by now -- that a familiar face isn't enough. Katie is a lightweight. She's perfect for morning -- but she doesn't cut it for helming a flagship nightly broadcast.

As much as I hate to use this cliched term: she doesn't have the gravitas.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Peter L. Winkler said...

I don't think Couric's personality is the problem. She's competent and pleasant, which is enough for a news reader (what anchors are called in Britain).

Look at the new format, which makes the news a 22-minute infotainment show. A "sit-down interview" with Tom Friedman that seemed to last all of three minutes? A segment called "free speech," which gives a forum to overexposed people like Morgan Spurlock and Rush Limbaugh, who have nothing interesting or worthwhile to say.

They watered down an already diluted news show that already gave too much time to fluffy human interest and inspirational stories.

CBS keeps chasing the youth demographic. Viewers under 50 don't watch straight news. Why don't CBS just acquire the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and put that on? That's the direction they're headed.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Chez said...

CBS already has access to the Daily Show.

Viacom is CBS, and it owns Comedy Central.

8:21 AM  

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