Is it the same in your world as mine? I read a lot of ‘trade’ reports, so the Katie Couric story has been front and center for a while.
There was lots of speculation – much of it I thought was posturing. I was wrong.
So, it’s $15,000,000.00 per year. Wow! That’s a lot of money.
Is she worth it? As strange as it might seem, it’s possible she is. And, obviously, for me – or anyone else on TV, that’s a good thing.
Television networks and stations all make money the same way – by selling commercials. The larger the audience, the more they can charge. And, if that audience if coveted by advertisers, they can charge even more.
In the world of TV, my daughter (age 18) is often more valuable than me (age 55). That, in spite of the fact that I make and spend significantly more than my college student child. But, for the same reason, Regis Philbin or John Madden, neither kids, are more valuable than an equally talented neophyte.
By the way, that’s especially true of John Madden.
If you’re on-air ‘talent,’ your value is being able to bring viewers to your station. And, though bosses don’t like to admit this when it’s contract time, people are often drawn to television programs by people they are comfortable with.
As a weatherman, you might think I’m minimizing the impact of my forecasting accumen and accuracy. No – because someone who lets the viewers down time-after-time will be unwelcome, no matter how well known or previously liked he was.
This draw is often synergistic, so the same person in a different setting might not be as effective. Is Katie as good without Matt and Al?
If I could put myself in Les Moonves seat for a second, I’d be thinking anyone can match the technology CBS buys, but there’s only one Katie Couric. If she can increase the audience a few percent just by being there, the $15,000,000.00 is a good investment.
Of course if this goes bust, Moonves looks like a fool and only Katie gets to laugh all the way to the bank.
There’s a second reason I like this move. It would be so easy to say Katie Couric is a morning show host and shouldn’t be considered for a hard news show. To a large extent, we’re all typecast. If Katie is successful in this switch, that will open the door for others.
Andy Rooney said, “I’m not enthusiastic about it. I think everybody likes Katie Couric, I mean how can you not like Katie Couric. But, I don’t know anybody at CBS News who is pleased that she’s coming here.”
How can he not say that? The reason Katie’s being hired flies in the face of everything in journalism he holds dear.
All this being said, I don’t think it’s going to work. I hope it does, but I just can’t picture the personality I know as Katie Couric being the right personality for this show.
Katie – please prove me wrong, because in this case, a rising tide will lift all boats.