We figured Katie Couric’s disingenuous comments about not caring about ratings at the CBS Evening News were an encrypted challenge or at least a cry for help. We also were certain there’d be fallout and today there is, with word that her executive producer will be replaced by a network good ole boy who’ll help CBS follow the blowing winds and punch the show back into the old-fashioned mode that everyone will be comfortable with.
We told you a month before Couric’s debut that executive producer Rome Hartman wasn’t up for the job. He was a CBS lifer, promoted from within, a step removed from America, and coming up with lame "innovations" like outsider commentaries and touchy-feely segments at a time Les Moonves was supposedly dropping a neutron bomb in the corrupt old CBS News operation:
TV news execs may gut a division and dump a show, but when it comes to getting the replacement on the air, they fall back on the comfort factor and rely on the same producers who worked on and created the shows of the past. New executive producer Rome Hartman, we’re sure, is a very nice fellow. But he’s been with CBS News since 1983! He’s a CBS lifer. He’s indoctrinated in the CBS way of life (see the Prologue to Tabloid Baby) and hasn’t experienced the world or newsgathering outside the privileged rarified CBS fishbowl. Hint: New blood. New ideas…
Rick Kaplan is no saviour. He's status quo. He was EP of Peter Jennings’ news show back in the 90s before he made messes at CNN and MSNBC: a big, tall, loud dickswinger who’ll make some rude noises in the hushed halls of CBS, someone who won’t be awed or bullied by Couric and who’ll make the show look a lot more like the ones on ABC and NBC that are kicking CBS’s ass-- and isn't it funny that it's old Charlie Gibson's tired old show on ABC that everyone's chasing). Maybe he’ll even send Katie to Iraq.
It doesn't matter. It’s all temporary, just another stop on Katie’s journey to afternoon talk.