There’s a new round of speculation about Katie Couric’s future, which reminds us of a strange thing about the third-place “CBS Evening News” anchor: Nobody really seems to care what she’s up to until there’s the possibility of her changing jobs.
Couric remains more interesting, in other words, for the promise she entails — the one-time reigning queen of “Today,” who seemingly would bring enormous recognition and goodwill to a daytime syndicated show or a cable news gig — than the reality. Mostly, the hubbub surrounding her has centered on her lavish contract (originally $15 million a year) and whether that sort of over-sized star salary could survive amid a news landscape of budget cuts and belt-tightening — and what such outlays to anchors, at the seemingly inevitable expense of deploying more reporters in the field, says about news priorities.
The track record regarding Couric’s CBS tenure is considerably fuzzier. Other than a memorable interview with Sarah Palin that helped expose the then-vice presidential candidate for the empty shell that she is, the anchor has done little to truly distinguish herself during her CBS tenure, handling her anchor chores competently, but without providing any of the heat required to upset the entrenched order of things, ratings-wise. And while that’s not entirely her fault, as the face of the news division, she certainly bears some responsibility.
So who will win the Katie Couric “sweepstakes,” as one website asked? The better question might be whether landing Couric — her reputation notwithstanding — really amounts to “winning” anything after the ink from the initial press release has dried?
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