Will Couric Stay At CBS?

Katie Couric at CURE Annual Chicago Benefit April 16, 2010

With her contract expiring at the end of May, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric has a big decision to make. But as David Bauder from the Associated Press reports, “her next choice is likely to be fraught with more risk, and may not truly be hers.”

Folks have been speculating for some time whether Couric would remain behind the anchor desk. But talk heated up last week when “60 Minutes” head Jeff Fager was named CBS News chairman with Bloomberg’s David Rhodes at his side. Deciding whether Couric remains after her current contract expires at the end of May will likely be their first point of business.

Couric, the first solo female anchor of a network evening newscast and veteran “Today” co-host does have options. Bauder writes: “Couric has discussed the syndicated talk show market with her good friend and former colleague, ex-NBC Universal chairman Jeff Zucker. A shorter-term extension with CBS to stay put, at least through the 2012 election, is possible, as is a move to cable where other big TV personalities have found homes, such as Oprah Winfrey, Conan O’Brien and Martha Stewart. Of course, the Web is yet another alternative for Couric in today’s marketplace.”

Bauder quotes WHC Insider‘s own Tammy Haddad:
“She’s got to find a place where her interview skills are used,” said Haddad, a veteran TV producer who worked with Couric in the 1990s. “She has that rare ability to make something happen every time she interviews somebody and every time she’s on-screen.”

Couric’s former “Today” partner, Bryant Gumbel, created his own niche with his well-respected “Real Sports” show on HBO, Haddad noted.

To read the full article go HERE.


Even AP's homepage fails at the "lol"

The Associated Press will not haz a cheeseburger after all.

It comes as a surprise to everyone that the wire service was in actual contractual talks for months–yes, “actual monthsFishbowl NY breathlessly assures us–with Pet Holdings Inc. (aka the owners of I Can Haz Cheeseburger.) The reason, according to an interview with Pet Holdings CEO Ben Huh in the Los Angeles Times,

“They felt that allowing the unwashed masses to [alter image captions] would be against their journalistic integrity.”

The main question (“How does an old media monolith like the AP remain hip and relevant in the age of cats with white text?”) is a frivolous statement. The AP has one of the better mobile apps through iTunes, but still suffered earlier this year when Google News revealed it would not host any new content from AP after contract negotiations failed.

Of course, you could always just use Skitch.

AP Takes Thomas' Seat

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Ending weeks of speculation, the White House Correspondents Association announced the Associated Press will take the front row, center seat in the James S. Brady Briefing Room at the White House once occupied by Helen Thomas.

The association stated the change will take effect Monday and that it was a “very difficult decision.” Bloomberg, Fox News, and NPR all made public plays for the coveted chair, which did not go unnoticed by the WHCA board. The first few minutes of Monday’s briefing might look like a game of musical chairs since the AP won’t be the only ones with a new vantage point.

The board “was persuaded by Fox’s length of service and commitment to the White House television pool” and moved them to the front row seat previously occupied by AP; NPR will shuffle into the second row seat previously held by Fox, next to Bloomberg News.

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Jennifer Loven — Leader of the WHC Pack

Jennifer Loven with President George Bush at the 2008 WHCD.

Jennifer Loven with President George Bush at the 2008 WHCD.

The White House Correspondents Association “represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the administration on coverage-related issues,” the WHCA Web site says. Spearheading that duty is the WHCA president — currently Jennifer Loven, who covers 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for the Associated Press.

What does the duty involve? “As president of the association, you’re the go-to person between the White House and the reporters,” past-president Steve Scully of C-Span tells WHCInsider. (Loven declined to talk.)

“You mediate on issues like travel, or seating, on just about everything,” Scully continues. “And you really have to ride herd on the White House to get answers on anything that might come up.”

If anyone can get answers, it’s likely Loven. As NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd recently told WHCInsider, “Jennifer Loven decides when the briefings begin and end. [White House press secretary] Robert Gibbs knows. When it appears the pertinent questions of the day have been asked and everybody has gotten a shot, she closes it down.” [Read more…]