Maybe they said it and maybe they did not. Drudge reported yesterday that CBS executives would in all likelihood ask Katie Couric to take a pay cut. She makes $15 million a year in case you forgot and is in the 4th year of her contract paying that princely sum.
When she took over the evening news , it was running 3rd behind Brian Williams and NBC and Charles Gibson and ABC. After a brief spurt, those ratings have settled in to where they were. The only difference is that Diane Sawyer has taken the helm at ABC.
The talk of a pay cut came amidst news that CBS would be laying off still more people from the news division, including some at the venerable “60 Minutes.” Ironically that comes not all that long after the death of Don Hewitt.
But the next day, CBS News President Sean McManus denied any talk of a pay cut, no matter what Drudge or the New York Post might have reported. To make things even more interesting, there is a bit of a glam article about Ms Couric in the current issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Not the best timing. Oh, McManus also went on to praise Couric’s job performance profusely.
I really could care less whether she gets a pay cut or not even though she has got to be overpaid if #1 Brian William,s makes only 7 million dollars a year. But it is all so much fun to see, is it not? There is also no truth to the rumor that Couric is miffed that the title of her show was not changed to the C( ouric) BS Evening news.
As your predecessor( who is now whining to Obama about the need for a government commission to save the press) would say, “courage.” Oh, you remember Dan Rather do you not?
Food for thought. The viewing audience for the week of January 25 was 10 million for Williams, 8.5 million for Sawyer and 6.8 million for Couric. Figures are from Chris Ariens at TV Newser.
Synergy is a great thing, is it not? The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it as a combined action or operation or “a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct business participants or elements” . That sounds just about right for the event scheduled for June 24 when as Drudge puts it, the media and government become one. Yes folks, on that night ABC will broadcast its evening news live from the Blue Room of the White House. Yes, our friend Charles Gibson has now one upped Brian Williams who just did a measly interview wth President Obama.
And, there is more to follow. The same night, the network will broadcast a live special from the East Room entitled Prescription for America. The program will supposedly exclude those who are opposed to government run health care. ABC says not to worry. According to ABC vice -president Kerry Smith, the network will have full editorial control of the program and will choose the most thoughtful an diverse voices on the issue. Sure they will.
These two evebts lend credence to a statement Rush made on March 26 when he began referring to the state-run media. My main question though is what is CBS going to do to top this? How about a new reality show, Obama’s Washington? Maybe they could have a new quiz show with a selection of White House staffers talking about how to avoid paying income tax? Ideas? The possibilities are endless.
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. Linda Douglass is Director of Communications at the White House Office of Health Reform. ( Wonder how all that fits on a business card? ) Ms Douglass was a reporter for ABC News from 1998-2006. Isn’t it great when a plan comes together?
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