In Depth

CBS Net Courts Affils for Couric

Goal: Seamless News Toss to 'Evening'

CBS is turning to its station affiliates to help bolster "The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric."

The network wants the local stations to transition seamlessly from their early newscast to Ms. Couric's show -- meaning no intervening commercials or promotional spots.

With data indicating a third of viewers decide what they're going to watch next in the last seconds of their local newscasts, CBS wants to eliminate temptations that would lead viewers to choose something other than the flagship "Evening News," which sank to a record low of 5.96 million viewers two weeks ago.

Executive producer Rick Kaplan, who has shifted to shorter segments, harder news and a faster pace on the "Evening News" in the nearly three months since he was hired, intends to take Ms. Couric on the road to a different affiliate market each month in search of new viewers. At each stop, station staffers will have ample access to the anchor, and the newscast will include a major story affecting that market and a closing "celebratory" story about the market.

"A seamless transition is the price of admission," Mr. Kaplan told affiliates gathered last week in Las Vegas for the 53rd annual CBS affiliates convention, where Ms. Couric made her second annual appearance to schmooze with local station representatives and to say, "I hope you'll keep watching."

Skipping commercials or promotions between the end of the local news and Ms. Couric's opening potentially will affect the stations' bottom line.

"Obviously, it's an inventory allocation that changes the economic model, the revenue model, and it has to be evaluated by everyone as to the value returned if we do it. We were just approached with it today," said Scott Blumenthal, Lin Television executive VP of television, who succeeded Freedom Broadcasting President Doreen Wade as chairman of the CBS affiliates association at the convention. "We'll take a look at it. Anything that's going to work in our best interests I'm sure the stations are going to do."

While most affiliates surveyed casually by TelevisionWeek are dismayed by the network's inability to get out of third place in the early morning and evening news races, they concede they do not know what the solutions are.

CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus said Ms. Couric is "the right anchor at the right time." If Mr. Kaplan produces a quality program, "I know our ratings will improve. We are going to prevail," he added.

"Katie is magnificent. I am fully convinced we are going to win," said CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves, who convinced Ms. Couric to leave her secure perch as "Today" co-anchor to make history—and some $15 million per year—as the first woman to anchor a flagship network newscast solo.

Mr. Moonves was upbeat about the state of the television business in general and the network in particular as he concluded the two-day gathering in Las Vegas.

At the affiliates meeting, CBS manifested a view of itself not as an old and outmoded media dinosaur, but as a traditional media business adapting to fast-developing technologies. Those technologies were portrayed as tools to keep network content king—not weapons of mass-media destruction.

"The centerpiece of CBS Corp. is this network," Mr. Moonves said, concluding the event that was an umbrella for everything from old-fashioned horse trading to advice on wrangling the Senate and House staffers who will influence media regulation.

The quest to get the seamless local transition to "Evening News" may be decided by getting the network to return the favor at 11 p.m. as stations begin their late-night newscasts.

Comments 51

JL

user-pic

I know Katie will win in the rating game... it just takes time.. after all she's a great news anchor.

I hope CBS will support her all the way

JJ

user-pic

Katie is awesome- Definitely the best thing that has happened to network news in a long time-

JJ

user-pic

Katie is awesome- Definitely the best thing that has happened to network news in a long time-

gordon carpenter

user-pic

curic is the most bies person I have watched on tv,As is cbs its self. Why do you not give both sides of the story. In the story of the Jena 6 on the local station [knoe 8 monroe La] Never have it been reported that six black boys kicked a white boy almost to death while some thirty other blacks held off any help. Maybe you need to tell both sides before there is something to really report. We have had a hard time trying to live with each other in the south, but mostly because just about the time we work it out you ----yankee start it up again

user-pic

Katie Couric is Not The Most Biased Person on CBS News Nor of any of the Four Network Anchors(Don't Forget Jim Lehrer is The Fourth Anchor for PBS)and Besides she is One of the Most Awsomed Anchors if Ever(Take that Brian Williams)all She Need to do Is Say Something Cronkiteist To Start The CBS Evening News as well As saying it at the End that can Achieve Huge Ratings after What CBS ha Been Through,But it is Something The Network Needs to Be #1 in the Evening Ratings News Race.

lilkunta

user-pic

gordon: Who did the Jena 6 almost kick 2 death?They were in a high school fight.

What about when they had guns pulled on them? & when they defended themselves by wrestling the guns away, they were charged w theft !

|
Posted by gordon carpenter | September 5, 2007 1:18 PM
gordon carpenter: curic is the most bies person I have watched on tv,As is cbs its self. Why do you not give both sides of the story. In the story of the Jena 6 on the local station [knoe 8 monroe La] Never have it been reported that six black boys kicked a white boy almost to death while some thirty other blacks held off any help. Maybe you need to tell both sides before there is something to really report. We have had a hard time trying to live with each other in the south, but mostly because just about the time we work it out you ----yankee start it up again

Art

user-pic

i would not watch any network news if I were paid to watch a bunch of Biased idiots spouting nothing but garbage every night.

Al

user-pic

Katie Courie is a Liberal Bitch, do America a favor and kick her ugly ass off the air.

user-pic

Thanks for posting this. Would be intrested to read more or possibly please contact me by email thank you!

user-pic

Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little homework on that. And he in fact bought me lunch because I found it for him

user-pic

Wonderful to read!

user-pic

Very informative

user-pic

Thank you for the great content. I am glad I have taken the time to see this.

user-pic

Thanks much for the great document. I am glad I've taken the time to learn this.

user-pic

Credit for the great blog post. I am glad I have taken the time to read this.

user-pic

I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it's rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.. :)

user-pic

Nice!! Great Ifo. Great People. Great Blog. Thank you for all the great sharing that is being done here.

user-pic

Interesting layout on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it and also I will be back to read more in the future.

user-pic

You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I've been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you're an inspiration to me and i'm sure many others!

user-pic

Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

user-pic

Kudos for the great piece of writing. I am glad I have taken the time to read this.

user-pic

cling on to

user-pic

Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It's people like you that make my day :)

user-pic

You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I've been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you're an inspiration to me and i'm sure many others!

user-pic

I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

user-pic

Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it's been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

user-pic

Great blog!! You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned :)

user-pic

Love all the opinions expressed here! How is everyone? Love how everyone expresses whatr they feel :)

user-pic

Ice hockey is an interesting exercise, I like itwholesale cheap nhl nfl jerseys.

user-pic

Yo. First of all - fantastic blog! Secondly this article was also good and interesting to read, but I don't think everything you have said is real truth. I will need to google about few things you have mentioned in your artcile to make sure. But anyway thanks for the great effort and good luck on writing other articles. P.S sorry for bad English, I aren't English native speaker.

user-pic

Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it's been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

user-pic

Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dont let anyone stop us bloggers.

user-pic

Appreciation for the great blog post. I am glad I have taken the time to learn this.

user-pic

Many thanks for the great posting. I am glad I have taken the time to see this.

user-pic

Appreciation for the great blog post. I am glad I have taken the time to learn this.

user-pic

Appreciation for the great blog post. I am glad I have taken the time to learn this.

user-pic

Love the blog here. Nice colors. I am definitely staying tuned to this one. Hope to see more.

user-pic

Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It's people like you that make my day :)

user-pic

Thanks much for the great document. I am glad I've taken the time to learn this.

user-pic

Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

user-pic

This is amazing! i have added it to my favorites.

user-pic

Kudos for the great article. I am glad I have taken the time to learn this.

user-pic

I would like to start my own blog one day. This was a really nice blog that you made here. Keep up the success :P

user-pic

Kudos for the great article. I am glad I have taken the time to learn this.

user-pic

Kudos for the great piece of writing. I am glad I have taken the time to read this.

user-pic

Would you brain if I reference several sentences from your post? I'm studying for undertaking for highschool. Thanks!

user-pic

Yale is aged logo flat out sucked. My cat could have executed that.

user-pic

I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I'm very very impressed.

user-pic

Great blog. I will take a bit of time to think about this site.

user-pic

I agree with your thoughts here and I really love your blog! I've bookmarked it so that I can come back & read more in the future.