Thursday, 4 February 2010

Loving Third Place

So, almost twelve months after CBS said that they would likely let Katie Couric move to 60 Minutes only....dumping her from the nightly news because she was number three and locked in, we are now hearing CBS grumble that Couric is giving them nothing. The network news division is now locked into a major economic situation and profits are sinking fast.

$300k a week goes to Couric. This is a sum which you could go and hire two good reporters for an entire year. The news organization has problems.

I sat about two weeks ago and watched a thirty minute blitz of CBS news with Katie. Frankly, it was fairly routine and decent. About half the items had the essential news of what happened...nothing in-depth...but she didn't have the time anyway to tell a complete story. This is one problem with a 30-minute newscast and the twenty bits of news you try to cram into the broadcast.

A comparison of Katie against the competition? She offers nothing more than the rest, yet is the highest-paying newscaster of the networks.

To be kinda honest, it feels like we have Katie of the Today Show...not Katie of independent fame. The Today Show news episode was designed for someone who wanted news-lite stuff, and couldn't grasp much beyond cute pandas, tropical storms, and recalls of Fords.

CBS is basically screwed. They have a third-place situation....and can't really get beyond that unless they lighten the load and get fresh faces into the show. The anchor of Katie? It's dragging them along, and frankly...there's little to smile about if you were a CBS executive.