Members of the audience for the CBS Evening News With Katie Couric continued to desert, dwindling to a new record low of 5,495,000 average total viewers, down 464,000 from a week earlier, the previous record low. ABC's World News With Charles Gibson continued to reign as the most-watched evening newscast, drawing 7,860,000 viewers versus 7,3860,000 for NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams. (The numbers represented an improvement for the NBC newscast from a week earlier.) Among adults 25-54, CBS and ABC wound up in a virtual dead heat.
I don't think "The Big 3" evening news shows matter as much as they used to. News is very accessible via cable and the Internet anytime you need a news fix. From quality news to downright trash. But I suppose for a good chunk of America, they still get their daily dose of what's happenin' from these guys. It hasn't been the same since that last great triumvirate of Rather, Jennings and Brokaw were on the air.
The only current anchor I really like is Brian Williams. He seems like a decent, honest guy with a good sense of humor. He's like the offspring of Brokaw and Jennings. Gibson is too much of a weenie. He's good for fluff. It's as if Regis Philbin were suddenly asked to do the news.
The problem I have with Katie Couric is that I really like her. I thought she was great on The Today Show. She's natural, she's honest, she's personable, she'll ask tough questions. She's a shoe-in to do well at this anchoring the evening news stuff.
Unfortunately, THAT Katie isn't hosting the news. Some creepy pink, overlit, soft-focus automaton is hosting the news.
And it's a shame. People will conclude, if they haven't already, that either she's the wrong person for the job, or worse, that America isn't ready for a female news anchor. Give me a frickin' break. I don't know who's getting in her way. It may very well be Katie herself. But I know that the Katie I admire isn't the Katie that's soft-peddling the news every night. I want my Katie back.
Or, at least, have her deliver the news like this...
Sure would make it easier to hear about Iraq.
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