Katie Couric's CBS Still the Same Liberal Shop, with Predictable Ratings Results
The arrival of Katie Couric to the CBS anchor desk hasn't panned out like the suits had thought. It's really no surprise considering that she's made essentially no real editorial and staff changes to introduce ideological diversity to broadcast television. Last week, the CBS News staff nearly revolted when Couric and her producers dared to allow someone to say on the show that school violence is the product of people taking religion out of public schools.
Five weeks into her tenure at the "CBS Evening News," Katie Couric's broadcast continues to slip in the ratings, falling into third place last week for the second week in a row.
With an average of 7.04 million viewers, Couric's audience last week was the smallest she'd had since taking over the evening news anchor desk, and it's lower than the number that tuned in for her predecessor Bob Schieffer's last week on the air in late August, according to Nielsen Media Research. [...]
the falloff of the former "Today" show anchor's audience since her debut has provoked a strong sense of unease internally, according to newsroom employees. Many are alarmed that the program isn't faring better, especially after a massive marketing push this summer that included radio spots and bus ads.
"You've got to ask the question whether CBS was wise to spend all that energy on publicity and promotion when they had a new product," said network news analyst Andrew Tyndall. "You can't retool a newscast like that and get it right from Day One."
Some of the staff have privately expressed concerns about changes to the broadcast, particularly a segment called "Free Speech," a platform for opinions from around the country.
Last week, executive producer Rome Hartman received strong protests from the newsroom after airing a commentary by Brian Rohrbough, the father of a student slain at Colorado's Columbine High School in 1999. In addressing recent school shootings in Colorado and Pennsylvania, Rohrbough said the public schools have taught students in a "moral vacuum" by emphasizing evolution and keeping religion out of the classroom.
Critics complained the opinion piece was not relevant to the current tragedies, especially since the most recent shooting happened at an Amish school.
Hartman, who said he was surprised by the topic Rohrbough chose to address, said he nevertheless didn't believe it would have been "in keeping with the spirit of the segment" to ask him to change the piece.
The executive producer called the feedback from newsroom employees "a very healthy conversation." Although the intense scrutiny of the broadcast's performance is "a little bit distracting" for staffers, Hartman said, the mood internally was upbeat. "It's a little frustrating that people treat what is our beginning as if it was some kind of end. These things take a long time to change."
This episode and many others we've chronicled in these pages illustrate a larger problem at work. For all their talk of being impartial and balanced, the fact is that network news is run by secular leftists who will continue spiraling ever downward in the ratings rather than adopt a more tolerant attitude and start hiring conservatives and religious people. They have a perfect example of success in Fox News but they deliberately choose not to follow it because they perceive news which isn't left-wing to be illegitimate.