Friday, June 02, 2006

Couric promises CBS Tabloid Evening News

As Katie Couric prepares to plop into Dan Rather’s old chair, she says ready to take the homey bully pulpit and turn it into tabloid feeling fest. She said so, in her own words, as she dropped into Las Vegas yesterday to give a perky pep talk to the suits from the CBS affiliates, in speech that was taken right out of the landmark book, Tabloid Baby, and could well have been the call to arms Peter Brennan gave the A Current Affair troops twenty years ago.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Couric hopes to bring a "humanistic, more accessible" approach to her job.

Couric predicted that the “pretentious era" of the evening-news anchor is going to be a thing of the past.

"The audience is more sophisticated than we give them credit for -- they don't want a mechanical Ted Baxter… I'm a serious, caring, compassionate person. I hope that comes out. ... People want a multidimensional (news anchor) and not someone they can put in a box…”

Couric said she thinks that the media are "held captive by spin," choosing to repeat "two separate spins" rather than search for the facts in a story. She also said the news has become somewhat inaccessible, seemingly being programmed for inside-the-Beltway policymakers and other reporters rather than for at-home viewers.

"We need to be more level with viewers and explain the issues in a plain-spoken way," she said.

To top it off, CBS boss Leslie Moonves told of how he wooed Couric to the network, by going out for drinks, then taking the party to the rec room!

"We probably drank more bottles of wine on my couch -- don't worry, my wife was in the next room!"

We knew Les was out to destroy the liberal, powerful CBS News, but getting drunk with the star while wifey (the lowly employee he hit on, banged in an extramarital affair, then married) sleeps on the other side of the wall? That’s right out of the Tabloid Baby playbook! (And we're not talking about Maury Povich. Maury's a class act. We just like the couple comparison...)

We know Katie’s read Tabloid Baby. The week the networks banned Tabloid Baby’s author from their shows, a copy was delivered to her former valet/producer Jeff Zucker while he was in the hospital. So quit wasting time. read the book and see what we mean.

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