ABC's Gibson goes with his gut, gets top ratings and calls reporter, "Toots"
In an attempt to figure out how Charlie Gibson has been able to power his ABC World News Tonight past the previously dominant NBC Nightly News in the ratings for 10 of the past 14 weeks, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz credited Gibson's "relaxed style" and willingness to go with his gut.
For example, on Tuesday night after controversial religious leader Jerry Falwell died, Gibson decided not to lead his broadcast with Falwell's death, unlike NBC and CBS. "[T]he decision underscored the extent to which Gibson is firmly in control at what recently emerged as the top-rated evening newscast," Kurtz wrote.
Presenting 64-year-old Gibson's ascension to the nightly news anchor post as anti-Katie in tone -- he didn't participate in a PR campaign like CBS's Katie Couric -- Kurtz said Gibson's "self-effacing" style is resonating with viewers, unlike, well, another anchor's style.
However I found it odd that, while explaining why she likes Gibson, ABC's chief White House correspondent Martha Raddatz quipped, "He's warm and fun, and how can you not love an anchorman who calls you, 'Toots?'"
Toots? He calls her Toots? . . . paging Ron Burgundy.