ADG- KTHV to Reap Rewards from CBS Evening News with Katie Couric
Source: Arkansas Democrat/Gazette The only Arkansas angle to be found in Tuesday night’s debut of Katie Couric at the helm of the CBS Evening News was how smoothly her exit strategy - a warm smile and an authoritative shuffle of papers that were probably totally superfluous to her news delivery - segued into the 6 p.m. Arkansas broadcast of Today’s KTHV-TV, Channel 11. It led with anchorwoman Anne Jansen’s furrowed-brow account of a stray bullet that found its way into a child’s wrist over the weekend at Magic Springs.
Channel 11 is certain to reap some rewards from Couric, its new tent-pole lead-in, still grappling with her reluctantly accepted feminist mantle just as Channel 11 grapples with what to do with its increasingly feminized lineup of A-list anchors: The station soon will have Jansen, Dawn Scott and Liz Massey and barely enough news broadcasts to go around.
For her part, Couric seemed to arch an eyebrow at the implication that she should debeautify and debronze before staring into the unblinking CBS eye: The bright white of her blazer amplified how not-white Couric’s skin is.
It is probably a reflection of the still-unlevel male/female playing field that her opening segment evoked the cadence of Carrie Bradshaw’s old “I couldn’t help but wonder... ” voice-overs from Sex and the City: Introducing a meaty and exclusive report on the resurgence of the Taliban, Couric posited, “But in the war on terror, you have to wonder: Is it back to the drawing board?” (If a man had said it, nobody would have thought of Sarah Jessica Parker.)
Couric courts the treachery of the “cute” label - certainly more the province of girlishness than boyishness - when she introduces some tinkering to her Tiffany-network product by announcing, “Something new for the evening news - besides me.” We can’t remember Brian Williams being quite so self-referential in quite the same playful way when he took over for Tom Brokaw. But that has more to do with personality than sex. Worth noting will be how Channel 11 follows the lead of its lead-in and tries to make news-watching an event: Whether you find her a diva or a deliverance, when the halfhour is up, Couric has made the evening news interesting again in a way that nobody has done since Jon Stewart.