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.