D.R.: A nightly news star is born? | VailDaily.com
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D.R.: A nightly news star is born?

Don Rogers

CBS apparently thinks Katie Couric, late of the “Today” show, will knock ’em dead as the new “Evening News” anchor starting Sept. 5.

You’d think a blockbuster movie on the order of “Lord of the Rings” was about to appear, reading a USA Today “Cover story” leading the Life section Wednesday.

It has the feel of a drumbeat starting as the story describes Couric giving a series of interviews like a Hollywood starlet.

Glitz comes now at the network where Cronkite led the newsies with gravitas, and Rather held to an aggressive seriousness, leavened with the faintest hint of goofy.

A TV nightly news marched in inverse proportion to its popularity toward entertainment, perky is clearly in. And these folks, long convinced of their celebrity importance, are also counting on star power.

So of course they’ll fail. Miserably. Gimmicks won’t change this tide. A horse and buggy out of its time won’t come back because the carriage driver is cute. Sorry.

I’m a news hound and I fell out of the habit of the nightly news decades ago. I can watch the news whenever I want. It’s not very good, other than for getting a visual, anyway. A morning chat show host isn’t exactly going to bring me or anyone else in my family back to the TV at the appointed time. Forget it.

I’ll check out the Web when I post this blog entry from home. I’ll read my papers, the news magazines, and hop into one of the two books I’m reading. On the ride to work, I’ll have NPR, then the papers, the Web, and if something pops up that I hope to see footage of, then I’ll click on a video or turn on the television.

Katie Couric? Forget it. I’ll be driving home, decompressing on the deck with the wife, writing, editing or doing almost anything but watching television at that time.

Just like most Americans now. We’re pretty much cured of waiting with any anticipation whatsoever for a news show.

I’m sure Couric is great, and worth every penny of that $15 million a year gig. Seems to me, though, that kind of money could make the actual news reports much stronger.

This news just tells me that the networks still haven’t figured it out. The reporting should be the star of the show, not the anchor.

Still, I wish her well. I hope I’m wrong and her influence somehow drums up more interest in the real world around us. Lord knows we’d be a more responsible citizenry for it.


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