The last week of August is traditionally a slow one...the last chance to stretch out before summer ends, the kids get back to school and everyone gets refocused on work. However, while more American soldiers died in Iraq and Afganistan, the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina passed, a mass grave was found in Iraq and enriched uranium was found at a facility in Iran while its President gave the cold shoulder to the UN, we as a nation just couldn't get enough of Katie's waistline.
As the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "news is a terrible thing to waist". Maybe, CBS News hopes, Katie's waist is a great thing for ratings, even if she prefers the untouched real her since there is "more to love".
How revolutionary for a news anchor! Such gravitas; Dateline's Stone Phillips would approve.
The photoshopped publicity photo used to continue the hype of Katie Couric's arrival tonight as new steward (or, is that stewardess?) of the CBS Evening News spread like wild-fire across the Internet last week and was talk show fodder on talk radio everywhere. Yes, Katie's arrival puts some sparks and new thinking into network news: first solo female anchor; simultaneous broadcasting on TV, radio and streamed on the net (plus available for podcast); and major interview coups in her first week (Bush, Clinton, Cronkite, Guiliani, Bill Maher, even Rush Limbaugh). Even so, how does this hype merit higher news value than real news?
Amazingly, since the announcement of Couric's departure from NBC's Today show last Spring, Katie Couric has consistently remained hot with online search. 5 months ago, the Jointblog posted an article stating Katie Couric's legs are apparently searchable and newsworthy. Since then, "katie couric", "katie couric legs" and "katie couric's legs" have been among the hottest search phrases bringing readers to the Jointblog because the article places in the Top 5 of all the major search engines (in some cases, #1 or #2). In addition, it places highly for "katie couric biceps" and other body parts. For the month of August, 42% of the Jointblog's keyword phrase analysis of users finding us through search engines involved Katie Couric's legs.
This fascination over all things Katie either makes CBS brilliant as its captures populist demand...or sets it up for performance expectations Katie will never be able to meet. The big question: will CBS show enough of her legs? Will they encourage wardrobe malfunctions when she interviews Justin Timberlake? Will the CBS Eye give us a better view at 6:30pm eastern?
After Debut Update (9/7/06): According to Mediaweek.com, CBS News scored its best ratings in 7 Years with Couric as the new host.
Although one day of overnight data does not a hit or miss make, Katie Couric was amply sampled as the new anchor of The CBS Evening News last night. The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric averaged a whopping 9.1 rating/17 share in the overnight markets, according to Nielsen Media Research data, more than doubling the household rating from the year-ago time period average (4.5/9 in September 2005)
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, September 05, 2006,