Katie Couric Show 'Teetering on the Verge of Cancellation'

There’s trouble in Katie Land. Alex Ben Block at The Hollywood Reporter warns her show is “teetering on the verge of cancellation,” that “soft ratings, a huge budget and ‘disdain’ for her female audience — Q Scores report only 10 percent of women view Couric favorably — have the host's Disney/ABC talk show in jeopardy as a renewal decision nears.”

The third season just began with a publicity blitz about Couric getting engaged, but “renewal seems a long shot.”
Anonymous “insiders” say the show is too hard-edged, not soft-focus enough for the 25-to-54 women viewers.

"She has a complete and utter disdain for the audience she needs to appeal to," says one former employee. "In her mind, the Today show was [the model] -- professional women getting ready for work. Anyone home after 9 o'clock are people she has no interest in appealing to. But she also loved the $20 million paycheck." The report continued:

A lot is at stake for Disney, which has an estimated $100 million invested in Couric (the cost is shared by its TV distribution arm and ABC News). Eight Disney-owned stations pay higher license fees than others; and the network gave back an hour of daytime to stations to provide a place for Katie -- an hour stations likely won't give back if the show is canceled.

"The owned stations are really carrying a burden," says an ABC affiliate GM. "There's no doubt [Katie] has damaged the lead-in to newscasts."

The Q Scores company reported in September that only 10 percent of women view Couric favorably, while 21 percent view her in a negative light. By contrast, daytime leader Ellen DeGeneres has a 29 percent positive Q score and 14 percent negative.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis