Couric Blames Local News Ratings for Her Failure

This is funny and sad at the same time.

Katie Couric is out at CBS later this year and before she heads out the door, she slaps local CBS affiliates across the face and blames them for her poor ratings. Typical lib—it’s never their fault. Blame others and individual responsibility ends up on the cutting room floor.

In an interview with the New York Times, Couric also trashed Dan Rather by referring to the 13 years that CBS was in third place before she got there. Hmmmmm—yes Dan, she didn’t mention you by name, but that was your baby she was blasting. Time to find some more fake George W. Bush documents from the early 70’s and perhaps that will help bring those awful ratings up.

Then, Couric went after local TV stations for providing horrible “lead-in” programming. She used the famous media phrase that “some people” had told her that since local news ratings sucked, her ratings suck. Some people. Those are the people that brave TV news reporters and anchors refer to when they believe it are afraid to say it themselves. Some people.

Simply put, the ‘nets blame the local, the local blame the ‘nets, the ‘nets blame the local—and that’s how it works in TV news. Nobody ever takes blame for the bad ratings. I won’t go over all the reasons for falling ratings in newscasts, I did that recently and you can check it out here, but this is like the left arm blaming the right arm for swinging and missing.

Having been part of this “blame game” in the past, I know where everybody is coming from. In newsrooms I’ve worked in the most popular discussion (besides how brilliant Obama is) is how the networks are killing local shows because of horrible lead-in programming. Truth be known, good local stations and good network newscasts can overcome bad lead-in. People have remote controls and they know how to use them. Perhaps the only person with a legitimate complaint is my friend, Jimmy Kimmel, he has to follow Nightline and that is an absolutely brutal lead-in show. Nightline is the longest 3 hour show (wait, it’s only a half hour show) you will ever see on TV (how many co-hosts do they have now, 6 or 7?)

Spend 5 minutes in a local NBC affiliate newsroom right now while they prepare for an 11pm newscast and see how they complain about lead-in, but they loved the days of ER and Hill St. Blues. It comes and it goes.

Katie lasted 5 years and she’ll go on to something else, maybe even bigger and better. The media protects its libs and she will have a soft landing. But, the bigger issue here, network TV news is dying and they have only themselves to blame, but they will not do what they need to do to fix it. That would require an agenda change, and they would rather die, or they could just blame somebody else.