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October 13, 2015

Les Moonves still believes in Katie

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 6th 2007 3:01PM

Katie Couric"No offense to those over 60, but that's not a demo we want."

That's a quote from Les Moonves at a press conference yesterday, talking about statistics that say the average age for a viewer of the nightly network news programs is 61.

Looks like all of the younger people in the country are getting their news from the web and cable.

Of course, even most of the older people who do watch the network news at night are getting it from Brian Williams and Charles Gibson. November ratings reveal that The NBC Nightly News got an average of 9.2 million viewers, ABC World News got 9.1, and The CBS Evening News was well behind with 6.7 million viewers.

But Moonves still believes in Couric. He calls her a "terrific news person" and "the hardest worker in town." I've been watching Couric a lot lately (she's become my choice when I do watch the evening news on the networks) and she's more than capable. I don't really get the negative reactions she gets from critics. She's better than when she started a year ago and so is the show (thank God they got rid of some of those lame features like "FreeSpeech" and the cutesy photos). In fact, I think that the three news shows are rather interchangeable. They all have solid news, they all have good reporters, and they all dabble in fluff every single night too. Williams, Gibson, and Couric are all fine, and I think that people watch one and don't watch the other two just out of habit or they have some sort of loyalty to one of the anchors or one of the networks.

Do a test the next several nights. If you regularly watch Williams or Gibson, watch Couric for 3 or 4 nights in a row and see if she gives the news just as well as they do.

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Jeff N.

When a coach or manager is given a vote of confidence from an owner or management it is usually the kiss of death. So Katie may be gone soon.
Les Moonves should be using all his political influence and power to get this writers strike settled.

December 06 2007 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't be surprised if Katy is jettisoned by the end of the year.

I agree with GigG, as stated above; any time an exec goes to this length to defend someone, you know that their time is limited.

The big question is who should replace her; but that is another topic entirely.

December 06 2007 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Statements like this one are usually a precursor to a 'talent' being canned.

You have the head of the network pretty much admitting that she isn't pulling her weight.

December 06 2007 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill G

Katie's definitely been a ratings failure, but Moonves is not the kind of guy that ever publicly admits failure. However, pretty much anyone new would have faced the same risk of failure that she did, any change at all risks upsetting an evening news applecart.

Here's a chart of the running broadcast evening news ratings. Nip and tuck between ABC and NBC, CBS [and Katie] trails badly:


December 06 2007 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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