Of course, everyone is writing and blogging about Katie Couric today, as she had her farewell to the Today Show and heads off on her new adventure at CBS. After doing a bit of cruising around the blogs to see what people were saying, it seems the concensus was, ‘Why should we care?’
My answer is that we should care because of our daughters. I am a former broadcast journalist of roughly the same vintage as Katie. News organizations were run by men then and they are still run by men, lo these 20-plus years later as Couric is about to ascend to Walter Cronkite’s chair. But let’s not forget what happened to Barbara Walters, Connie Chung, and, just this week, to Elizabeth Vargas. After relatively short times on the air, when the men running the show didn’t see instantaneous and astonishing increases in their ratings, the women, not the men, were given the boot.
How long will it be before those at CBS who were so happy with their Couric coup begin doubting her, questioning her abilities and outright sandbagging her? I am hoping and praying that doesn’t happen and that she is really given the chance to make this slot her own. If that happens, that will open huge doors for our daughters down the road — a woman who made it, not just on the air, but also in a behind-the-scenes, power-broker way as Executive Producer.
We’re counting on you, Katie. While your accomplishments have been amazing at the Today Show, this new chapter could be your real legacy.