Couric's Farewell Isn't The End: How To Save News Katie Couric announced Tuesday that she is leaving her job as an anchor at CBS Evening News, but commentator Eric Deggans argues that this doesn't mean the end of the evening newscast — in fact, the big three networks are still going strong. They just need a little push in the right direction.
NPR logo

Couric's Farewell Isn't The End: How To Save News

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/135415202/135760869" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Couric's Farewell Isn't The End: How To Save News

Couric's Farewell Isn't The End: How To Save News

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/135415202/135760869" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

SOUNDBITES OF NEWS CLIPS

CBS E: Katie Couric might leave the CBS Evening News anchor chair.

E: Katie Couric cutting the cord from CBS.

E: Katie Couric is reportedly leaving the CBS Evening News anchor chair. She was the first woman ever to anchor...

INSKEEP: Yesterday, Katie Couric and CBS confirmed she really is leaving, which gave many commentators the chance to talk again about the death of the nightly network news, but not TV critic Eric Deggans.

ERIC DEGGANS: Uncool as it sounds, I'll be the guy to say it out loud: the old school network evening newscast still has value, and it should be saved. On this point, I have a mighty friend - David Letterman.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

DEGGANS: At least, it seemed that way when Katie Couric was on his show, and he couldn't believe she might bail on her job leading his network's news division.

(SOUNDBITE OF "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

DAVID LETTERMAN: It's not like it's a temp gig, you know?

KATIE COURIC: No, five years isn't too temporary, though.

LETTERMAN: Look at Walter Cronkite.

COURIC: That's true.

LETTERMAN: Look at Tom Brokaw. Look at Brian Williams. Look at Peter Jennings. Look at all these people. They get in it. They saddle up and the ride into the sunset.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Into the sunset.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

DEGGANS: Unidentified Woman #4: We'll be back with more "Entertainment Tonight" in...

(SOUNDBITE OF "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT")

DEGGANS: Dump "Entertainment Tonight" or "The Insider," or whatever syndicated show fills the 7:30 P.M. time slot on CBS affiliates. That's where network newscasts belong, when we're all working harder and getting home later.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CLIP)

CELIA HATTON: Celia Hatton, CBS News, Tokyo.

DEGGANS: Hire more reporters.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CLIPS)

DEAN REYNOLDS: Dean Reynolds, CBS News, Lafayette, Indiana.

SETH DOANE: Seth Doane, CBS News, Toledo, Ohio.

DEGGANS: During Couric's tenure, CBS News reportedly laid off 10 percent of its staff. And when she leaves, the network should have an extra $15 million laying around, annually. That adds up to a lot more opportunities to hire new talent and boost news resources.

(SOUNDBITE OF A TICKING CLOCK)

DEGGANS: Merge with CNN already.

CNN: Now, CNN's Anderson Cooper on assignment for "60 Minutes."

DEGGANS: It feels like half of CNN stars appear on "60 Minutes" anyway, even if it's just Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta. And CBS could benefit from the reporting muscle and 24-hour schedule that comes with a major cable news channel.

DIANE SAWYER: And good afternoon to all of you. I'm Diane Sawyer here at ABC News headquarters...

DEGGANS: Time for CBS to own more stories.

SAWYER: ABC's Christiane Amanpour made her way to the man at the center of the storm in Cairo. The embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak...

DEGGANS: It still makes sense to redefine these shows for a new generation, rather than play it cool and lose a tradition old as television itself.

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.