Monday, April 03, 2006

Katie Couric Leaving Today -- Who Wins? Who Loses?

The announcement will apparently come any day now about Katie Couric leaving Today after 15 years and moving to CBS. Who wins? No one. Who loses? Everyone. 15 years is a long time for anyone to get up at 3 am, so don't begrudge Katie the desire to get more money for easier work. She'll also add 60 Minutes to her portfolio, giving that show a much needed boost (though if she does embarrassing puff pieces like Ed Bradley's wet kiss with Tiger, it won't help). But CBS is dumping Bob Schieffer, who'd actually grown the evening news audience while ABC and NBC declined. And getting gets the "prestige" of the evening news slot, something no one under 50 watches any more. Today doesn't win because change is never good in morning tv. And Good Morning America may not win, because their desperate need for an evening news anchor means they may very well break up Charlie and Diane just when those two could have had their best shot (ever) to catch up with Today. The ONLY time leadership changes hands is when someone leaves. So it's bad news all around, frankly, with the most likely scenario being that after a huge initial tune-in for Couric everyone settles right back where they were both in the evening news and in morning tv.

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