Dow Jones Media Critic Declares Couric 'Debacle,' Suggests Shift Back to Mornings

It's not too early to declare Katie Couric a failure as an evening news anchor and to suggest she return to her successful slot as a morning news show host. That's the considered opinion of Jon Friedman, "Media Web" author at Dow Jones's Market Watch. Read "How CBS can salvage the Couric debacle"  here.

Friedman's frank assessment::

"America loved the early-morning Katie. Whether she likes it or not, it's evident that viewers embraced her for the 'P' word: perkiness. Fair or not, however, the nation isn't willing to accept her in the traditionally solemn evening-news time period."

Friedman notes that Renee Syler recently exited The Early Show, creating an opening that Katie could smoothly fill. But by the same token, he doubts it will happen:

"The resistance may boil down to pride. Couric has too much pride to accept a return to her television roots. And CBS won't easily admit that it a) made a mistake by installing Couric in that time slot b) bungled the ham-fisted marketing strategy for its new star or c) presented an inferior, puffy show at 6:30 p.m. to a news-oriented audience."

I'd say Couric's difficulties are symptomatic of a more fundamental problem confronting all the evening news shows -- that of being a moribund breed. In any case, when it comes to Katie, something's gotta give.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.