Can Replacing Couric With CNN’s Anderson Cooper Save CBS News?
March 1, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Katie Couric’s contract as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News is due to expire in about a year, and already there is talk of her replacement, as struggling nightly news programs find a way to survive the onslaught from cable news and the Internet. An article in Monday’s New York Times suggests that the future survival of network news may rely upon a partnership with a cable news channel, much like the model employed by NBC/MSNBC. And CBS has been eying a possible joint venture with CNN. CBS executives have reportedly been in talks with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to take over Couric’s position when her contract expires. The hiring of Cooper may then pave the way for an eventual CBS/CNN partnership.
Such a partnership may be a seamless one, as CNN talent, including Anderson Cooper already contribute to CBS’ Sunday evening investigative news program “60 Minutes.”
“And CBS executives, mindful that Katie Couric’s contract expires in a little over a year, have talked to Anderson Cooper of CNN about an anchor job, according to two TV veterans informed of the meeting.”
CBS was forced to cut 70 jobs this past year and ABC just announced that 400 workers in the news division would lose their jobs.
According to The New York Times’ piece the future of network news nightly programs are in peril:
“But with news available more places than ever, on cable channels and Internet sites, and with revenue challenged by heavy dependence on shrinking advertising dollars, the future for the news divisions at ABC and CBS remains deeply insecure.”
And it’s certain there will be some consolidation with cable news in the near future:
“But a longtime network news executive, who asked not to be identified because of connections to previous private negotiations involving CNN, said that ABC or CBS was likely to enter into an alliance with a partner like CNN “within the next few years.””
The hiring of Anderson Cooper to take over CBS’ nightly news program may be the first step towards an eventual alliance with CNN.
Amid the reports that Cooper was tapped to replace Couric, it was also reported that Couric had decided to leave well before her contract with CBS expires. But CBS pushed back against such reports, saying that Couric intended to serve out her entire contract.
“We are very proud of the ‘CBS Evening News,’ particularly our political coverage, and we have no plans for any changes regarding Katie or the broadcast,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.
See The New York Times for more.