Tag Archives: broadcast news

Anchor away

It looks pretty certain that Katie Couric will be stepping down as anchor of CBS Evening News. I have mixed feelings about this. Not that anyone asked.

I was a latecomer to the Katie Couric fan club, but am a member nonetheless. I didn’t watch her on Today until fairly late on her stint there. And, it’s embarrassing to admit, I didn’t watch her when she was a local reporter here in Washington.

It wasn’t until time of the 1992 presidential campaign that I gave her a try. She was a little cutesy for my taste and I just wasn’t comfortable getting my news from such a pixie, opting instead for the more serious Paula Zahn. One event that turned me away from Katie was when she interviewed Ross Perot and kept putting words in his mouth. He would say something and then she’d say, “So what you’re saying is…” and it wasn’t anywhere close to what he was saying. I didn’t go back for a while after that.

Something else that has bothered me about Katie Couric is always her pronunciation of “ing;” she ends every gerund with “een.” This is especially distracting during coverage of the Olympics, what with the swim-een, dive-een, run-een, skate-een and ski-een.

But I’ve gotten past all that.

Over the years I’ve seen Katie Couric mature as a newswoman; I consider her one of the best. Her assignment to the CBS anchor post was well deserved, even if she ultimately doesn’t feel it suits her interests. I think she does a terrific job with her 60 Minutes segments. Her interviewing skills have come a long way. Just ask Sarah Palin.

As far as ratings are concerned, I’m guilty. I’m a Brian Williams Fan. But I often watch Katie at 6:30 and Brian at 7:00. If Katie feels constrained behind the anchor desk, she should find another outlet for her talent and personality. If CBS blames her for the news show’s ratings, I’m not sure the blame is merited. No matter.

Katie Couric deserves to be happy and professionally fulfilled. She has lost a husband and a sister, reared two daughters and raised awareness and funds for an evil disease. She has more than proven her acumen as a competent newswoman. She’s even tweeting out Words of the Day and then using each one in a sentence. Most of all, she takes her work seriously while not taking herself too seriously.

So Katie, go do what makes you happy. Host your own show in your very own style. Come back to Washington. Go back and replace Meredith on Today (please!). Whatever you decide, you have my support.

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Filed under Movies, Television and Radio, News, Politics

Centesimal celebration

I am tired of talking about me.  When I posted my first blog entry in late March, I expressed discomfort about blogs in general, because people tend to use them as platforms for talking about themselves, and I just didn’t want to do that.

Today, on the occasion of Word Nymph’s 100th blog entry, let’s take a look at some others.

If you are reading this from the Word Nymph site (as opposed to a subscription e-mail), look toward the right of the screen and scroll down just a bit.  You will see a section entitled Blogroll, and a list of half a dozen blogs I visit regularly.

But first, let’s talk about me—and why I’ve chosen these six.

I am interested in broadcast news, as a viewer of course.  Not just the Holly Hunter movie, but live television news.  I watch as much of it as a working person can fit into a day.  In Advancing the Story, veteran journalists Deborah Potter and Deb Halpern Wenger provide an enlightened glimpse into broadcast media—the art and the science, the complexities and the nuances.  Their recent piece on interviewing victims was inspired.

I am a lover of words, a lifelong learner and maker of mistakes.  I try to be tolerant of others’ mistakes but draw a big fat line between an earnest slip and steady patterns of egregious violation.  I have peeves that make me itch like a case of poison ivy.  I commend to you two blogs that illustrate blatant assaults on our language.  Please visit Apostrophe Abuse, study it and tell all your friends—be militant about it—that apostrophes do not make words plural.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, an “s” makes a noun plural, NO APOSTROPHE needed, or wanted.  My family and I are the Welches, not the Welch’s.  We are not having the Nelson’s over for dinner and we won’t be serving clam’s.  The blog will give you a good laugh and, I hope, a good lesson.  Let’s stop the abuse.

I am serious about punctuation.  What I’ve said about the apostrophe, likewise with quotation marks.  If we keep using them unnecessarily, they will become endangered and we won’t have them when we really need them—for quotations.  Please visit The “blog” of “unnecessary” quotation marks and notice how silly it looks to wrap serious punctuation around ordinary words willy-nilly.   If you want to make words stand out, there are plenty of text formats available, including italics (CTL + i), bold (CTL + b) and underline (CTL + u).  And if you must—and only if you must—ALL CAPS.  Please do not use quotation marks for emphasis.

I love English, but realize what we speak in the United States is American (I love that too).  I am also interested in all things international.  The Economist is a magazine that is read and respected by intelligent people throughout the international community.  It maintains a high standard of thought and writing, so when it launched a language blog, Johnson, earlier this summer, naturally, I signed up.  Check it out.

I love humor, possibly above all else.  My motto is “laughter heals” and I need a steady diet of it or I’ll die.  If you too need a chuckle a day, log on to The Sticky Egg.  The Egg posts every day, providing a full week’s worth of minimum daily hilarity, as the clever Carla Curtsinger muses about the entertainment biz and life in New York City.  She’ll also explain the origin of her moniker.  Be sure and check out her Blogroll.

I miss my kid.  He grew up in the blink of an eye, probably because I worked 12 hours a day and traveled regularly for the first 15 years of his life.  To bring back memories of having a child in the house, I get great enjoyment from the colorful tales of Cara Garretson, a  mother of two young kids, a gifted storyteller and a writer who works at home.  Time Out will make you smile.

But enough about me.

See you Monday.

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Family and Friends, News, Reading, Technology and Social Media