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Dan Rather criticizes CBS decision to hire Katie Couric

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Big Chee, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

    The headline is (not surprising) misleading because he didn't criticize Katie, but the things that lead up to her hire.

    But it's the truth nontheless.


    With Katie Couric doing the "Evening News," CBS has been "dumbing it down, tarting it up," Dan Rather said yesterday, bashing his unsuccessful successor in the anchor chair.

    When Rather retired two years ago - possibly under pressure - the "Evening News" had fallen to a distant third place in network viewership.

    After initial excitement about Couric's move from her spot as co-host of NBC's "Today" show to the nightly news, the broadcast quickly slipped again to trail its competitors.

    Talking via phone to Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Rather described Couric as a "nice person" - then let her have it.

    Speculating on the program's declining ratings, Rather said, "The mistake was to try to bring the 'Today' show ethos to the 'Evening News' and to dumb it down - tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience."

    Then in a kinder vein, he said Couric "tried to change networks, which is always difficult, and change the programs at the same time." Then he opened fire again.

    He said the program "trend line" continues to lean toward excessive and overdone celebrity coverage.

    Rather said he'd prefer to see the show give more time to the war in Iraq, which he called "a strategic catastrophe of historic proportions."
  2. rokski2

    rokski2 New Member

    Good for Dan. Trying to make "The CBS News" into a pseudo-'Extra' was not a good idea. Couric isn't a bad person, but this was a bad match. You just can't have Couric sit in the same chair that Cronkite once did. Or Olbermann, or a lot of other people.
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Dan knows that battle was lost long ago, and that it would be lost on CBS the second the door hit his ass on the way out
  4. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

    I agree. I'm sick of this union of pop culture news anchors covering hard edged informative world news.
  5. rokski2

    rokski2 New Member

    Good point.

    Still, it's nice to hear someone tell the truth about the Titanic while it's sinking
  6. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

    We both know it's far and feew between though.

    I don't expect network heads to provide us with a truthful introspection of the industry they control.
  7. rokski2

    rokski2 New Member


    Chee, couldn't agree more. Freaking 'info-tainment.' The Anderson Vanderbeltization of news really needs to get reigned in.
  8. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Yup - Dan heard that big train whistle coming round the bend and said "I'm outta here hoss. Tamp em up solid Katie. Courage"
  9. rokski2

    rokski2 New Member

    Ha ha. That was funny sh*t. :)
  10. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I agree, Couric was not the right person for the job.

    There are plenty of women who do and would make a great hard news anchor, and it would be nice to see a departure from the white/male dominance of network news.

    But after watching her goofball morning show antics for several years, the public was not in a position to take Couric seriously at the news desk. They set her up to fail in this role.
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Courics ratings would have been helped if she kept her "do" that she showed up with on Super Bowl pre game show.
  12. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    I thought Couric was a bad hire when they made it, and I still believe that. But one thing Dan is leaving out, and understandably so -- his tenure had killed the ratings to the point that CBS felt drastic measures were needed to be competitive.

    I think it was an overreaction. When the CBS Evening News had Bob Schieffer as the interim anchor it was the only evening network newscast that was actually growing in viewership. They should have stuck with it.

    When they replace her -- and I think they will, if not before the election then soon after -- it'll likely be an older guy once again. The demos for the network newscasts skew very old, and those viewers are clearly more comfortable with someone who looks like Schieffer than someone who looks like Katie. The networks would like to lower that viewer age, obviously, but it's a effort that's doomed, so they might as well play to the audience they still have.
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