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Relationship between CBS and Couric ending with a whimper, not a bang

Katie Couric was chided by David Letterman this week for thinking of leaving her job as anchor of the CBS Evening News.

"It's not like it's a temp gig," Letterman told Couric, reminding her that other anchors "ride into the sunset."

COURIC For Couric, the sun apparently sets around 2 p.m. Don't blame her, though. That anchor seat has lost a lot of value since it was occupied by Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather. In fact, a case could be made that Couric traded down when she left NBC's "Today" for CBS.

Now she wants to try daytime. What's interesting is that CBS does not appear to be making a big push to keep her in the anchor chair. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who was instrumental in wooing Couric away from NBC to CBS, is sitting back and letting the new leadership at CBS News -- Chairman Jeff Fager and President David Rhodes, call the shots, according to people familiar with the situation.

Moonves may not want to be seen publicly pursuing someone who clearly has their mind made up. Perhaps singing "Happy Birthday" to Couric for a video the network made for her in January was as far as he was willing to go.

That Couric is consulting with her former "Today" producer (and ex-NBC Universal CEO) Jeff Zucker probably hasn't helped her relationship with her current bosses at CBS. It will be interesting to see if CBS seriously considers going after a Couric talk show or passes.

PELLEY Inside CBS, attention is starting to focus on Scott Pelley as the leading candidate for Couric's job should she bolt, which seems to be a foregone conclusion.

Pelley, a "60 Minutes" correspondent, is close to Fager, who besides being chairman of CBS News continues to executive produce the newsmagazine.

Pelley has been with CBS for more than 21 years. If he is given the job, odds are the network won't have to worry about him eyeing his next big deal or wondering what else is on the horizon.

If Couric does leave, her stint at CBS will be one of the shortest for an evening news anchor. Cronkite did it for almost 20 years and Rather for more than two decades. ABC's Peter Jennings and NBC's Tom Brokaw also put in over 20 years anchoring. While ABC weathered some instability with the anchor slot after Jennings died, Diane Sawyer seems willing to take Letterman's advice and ride into the sunset. NBC's Brian Williams also seems entirely comfortable in his job.

There will be lots of analysis about Couric's run at CBS News. She did not boost ratings the way CBS would have liked. Her persona, perfect for the morning, ultimately did not work as well in the evenings. The media seemed more obsessed than viewers about her role as CBS News anchor. In daytime, she will be back in her comfort zone.

-- Joe Flint


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Photos: Top right: Katie Couric. Credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images. Bottom left: Scott Pelley. Credit: John Filo/CBS.

Comments () | Archives (218)

Msm networks are a dinosaur. With their ridiculously left-leaning bias they have become a laughingstock and can't be taken seriously.

I remember the media being in a frenzy when gas prices went up a couple of cents under Bush, but are totally silent when it comes to gas prices hitting the $5 mark this summer under Obama. Where are the accusations of him being in bed with the Saudi's like Bush was accused of? Is this Libya war he's gotten us into for oil? Utter hypocrites.

phoenixandrew - hate to break this to you, but those documents Rather produced were proven to be fake. People got fired. CBS was embarrassed, but Rather believed even if documents were fake it was ok as long as you believed the story to be true. That's not journalism, it's insanity. And it doesn't belong in our newsrooms.

Oughta put Palin in her place.

CBS boss Les Moonves made all CBS entities cut staffs to the bone to afford her giant salary. No telling how many hard working employees were axed to make room for ''her highness''. Those who have worked with her know all to well of her DIVA-NESS!!! Way to go Les! You spent all that money with nothing but
sucky ratings to show for it!!! Why not replace Katie with your wife, Julie Chen?

Have Paul Magers from the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles take over. He would be perfect.

I never saw ONE show Katie did that had a segment on immigration where the narrative of the story was not: More imgration and immigrants GOOD, people that want less immigration very very BAD!

She introduced one segment on the border and the minutemen by calling them the " so called,minutemen" with a disdainful and dismissive sneer.

She is a pro immigration, open border , globalist,anti american worker cheap labor whore! But so is the rest of the MSM except Pat Buchanan.

These days CBS, NBC and ABC these days are really irrelevant news media outlets. So many other better places to get information these days. Who cares about Couric.

To Mark: also President

I do not like Couric, She is a has been. Like in has been, get it.

Lots of words that say simply-"she stinks as anchor and belongs on a fluff show aimed at stay at home moron moms and the unemployed high school drop outs."

I wouldn't watch katie couric if she was the last reporter alive. she's boring as hell and could somebody please find her upper lip?

CBS has everything to gain, and nothing to lose with Couric's departure. LOOK AT HER DISMAL RATINGS!

maybe she'll end getting the weather gig in Wasilla!!!!

Ha Ha Ha, this vindicates me. I saw it and told CBS before they hired Couric that she would fail, and for me, I would never watch anything that liberal, hateful woman was a part of and would never listen to her. ha ha ha ha ha. What was that? A $15 milllion mistake?? ha ha ha hahaahahaha

Katie Couric was not perky, she is not intelligent. She is just a silly lie beral with a lot of make up on.

CBS? Who's that?
I Don't get cable. All of my news is received online through Fox, CNN and podcasts that any network is able to put out. I love MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, but CBS? Hrmn... Maybe I'm too young to remember them. Their website has no news, just talk of shows that I also don't watch because other networks make theirs available on Netflix and Hulu.
She might be a great journalist, I wouldn't know. But I think that her biggest failure is choosing CBS, who has clung to an old form of media which is quickly failing.

Sarah gets the last laugh - LoL!~!!!

I hope that Russ Mitchell, a lomgtime CBS news personality, will be seriously considered for the anchor position.

She lost half of the viewers so they got rid of her.

Why doesn't LAT give the reason why she was forced out? She has NO Ratings because she was a liberal and her audience was conservative! If CBS was smart which it is not they would put a conservative in - FOX has shown that people want conservatives, especially the older audience drawn to network news. But ideology wins over money, as with LAT.

Didn't care for her lefty bias in the morning and never watched her at night. Never thought she could pull it off. To begin with, she's not a journalist; without any real sense of what job was hired to do, and only took it as a vehicle for self promotion.
I don't watch any network news, nor much cable, except for Fox once in a great while. TV news is anachronistic, especially the alphabet channels. Gave up on the lying bastids while serving in Viet Nam.
I wish her luck but could care less where she goes as I won't watch her there either.


"Who cares? She is nothing more than a talking head. Lets face it, any bozo who can read a teleprompter can be a news anchor."

...or President, apparently.

She looks like the joker from bat man. She would be great at hosting parades, etc.
Bababooey to all.

>> The media seemed more obsessed than viewers about her role as CBS News anchor.

Particularly Matt Drudge.

Why is it surprising to the person who wrote this article that CBS news isn’t trying to keep Katie? She gets no ratings. And why do the executives at CBS think they should replace Katie--a repulsive, biased liberal Democrat--with Pelly-- another repulsive, biased liberal Democrat--to go against the repulsive, biased liberal Democrats at ABC and NBC? If they were smart at CBS, they would get someone who is objective or leans to the right. Then they wouldn’t have any competition. That is how FOX became the most successful cable news network: FOX didn’t have to compete with the repulsive, biased, liberal Democrats at ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, CNN, and MSNBC.

The fallacious banter here is quite amusing...it's a shame that that the evening news is viewed much the same.

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