Monday, May 14, 2007

It's Not the Ovaries

New ratings, same conclusion: the CBS Nightly News broadcast is still a distant third behind ABC & NBC’s. With Katie Couric at the helm, the news show has never known such low ratings. But here’s the shocker (listen up old school chauvinist dinosaurs): the ratings aren’t low because Katie Couric is a woman. The ratings are low because of Katie Couric. She's neither likable (she’s still as much “America’s Sweetheart” as Farah Fawcett is still “America’s Sex Symbol) nor is she one to hear serious news from. Blame it on one too many cooking segments with Emeril while she was on the Today Show and the many fluff "news" stories she’s covered ranging from anything Hollywood to what to wear to the beach if you’re over 35.

Is it unfair Katie Couric is scrutinized over her clothes, her make-up and her hair? Yes but I don’t think she cares what people think so let’s not digress on this matter. In this debacle, the finger should really be wagged at CBS and only CBS. How could the network think for one second that Katie Couric could fill an anchor chair previously filled with the likes of Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather? That’s the equivalent of trading a glass of Châteauneuf du Pape for a bottle of Yoo-hoo. Many women could have led a successful newscast: Carole Simpson, Gwen Ifill, maybe Diane Sawyer.

In a race that seems insurmountable for CBS, the network should concentrate on making a better news program. One that could compete on quality and credibility Never mind the ratings.

Gwen Ifill: A better fit

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