Tuesday, December 21, 2004

CBS gettin' perky?

According to industry trade magazine Broadcasting and Cable, one of the names on Les Moonves' short list to replace Dan Rather at CBS Nightly News is perky, smirky Katie Couric.
One scenario gaining commerce among industry cognescenti is that CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves will name an interim placeholder—The Early Show co-host Harry Smith, Face the Nation moderator Bob Scheiffer or 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley—until he can land a superstar to take over. If that's the tack he takes, what I hear is that the big name he's most likely to court is Katie Couric, arguably the most incandescent of all the stars in the news constellation.

Is Les Moonves that taken with Katie Couric? For all her perk, seems to enjoy every opportunity to slip the shiv into conservatives. She also doesn't seem to let reality impede her lectures on correctness.

Why Katie Couric? Seems Moonves wants a "superstar" and all the others were stuck in longer contracts or didn't want the job.
In 2002, the Today co-host signed what may have been the richest deal in network news—reportedly worth about $15 million a year. That pact still has about 18 months to run. Rather vacates Evening News in March. Moonves would have to wait only a tad more than a year to get his superstar. And it's not as if there are a lot of alternatives out there: Virtually everyone in the news pantheon who's younger than 60 is tied up even longer than Couric or simply doesn't want the gig. Diane Sawyer, who also has about 18 months remaining on her deal, told New York magazine she wasn't interested. And two other great picks, Couric's NBC News cohorts Matt Lauer and Tim Russert, each have years left on their contracts.

That leaves Couric as Moonves' best choice.

Bloggers who saw a victory when Rather announced his move to 60 Minutes (a pyrrhic victory if you ask me) may find Rather's replacement even less acceptable.

But also a gift. Think of all the great material she'll provide.


At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBS ought to be concerned about Katie Couric gigling
her way through a few newscasts?


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