Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Kicking Katie

The television world is abuzz because Katie Couric's ratings have hit bottom.
Her 4.89 million viewers in each of the last two weeks matched an all-time low for the "CBS Evening News."

Of course, TV viewership is lower in the summer, and Couric was off some of those nights. But here's what bugs me: On two of those newscasts, she reported from Afghanistan. The numbers declined, so ratings-obsessed critics declared the trip a failure. "Sending Couric to Afghanistan didn't work," says MarketWatch's Jon Friedman.
Didn't work?

Are there not reasons for the CBS anchor to report on America's longest war other than goosing the Nielsens? If the New York Times sent a reporter to Kabul for a week and his or her stories didn't attract that many hits, would we say the trip was a failure?

Couric has done some good work in the anchor chair. The odds are she'll move on after the fifth and final year of her contract, which begins this week. It hasn't been a great fit for her or CBS, not for $15 million a year. NBC clearly wants her back, at least if Comcast keeps Jeff Zucker around after the takeover; Friedman suggests the peacock network create an interview show for her, to run after Brian Williams' newscast.

The marketplace judges anchors by ratings, which translate into advertising dollars. But let's not forget there's journalism involved, too. Just ask Sarah Palin.

By Howard Kurtz  |  September 1, 2010; 1:13 PM ET
Categories:  Latest stories  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Joe Biden on the Iraq handover
Next: Jan Brewer's brain freeze

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company