Home > Media > Katie Couric answers a question, discovers that she’s irrelevant

Katie Couric answers a question, discovers that she’s irrelevant

Here’s some interesting insight into the mind of Katie Couric and Old Media:

In a news environment that has been irrevocably disrupted by the Internet, the role of broadcast news anchors has evolved out of necessity. Their ability to focus international awareness on the key issues of our time remains unparalleled, but the attention span and consumption habits of their audience has changed.

And so the question becomes: How will one of the nation’s most familiar faces and sources for news will adapt, adopt and become adept in the context of a news cycle that refreshes as often as a click on a Web browser? By the time Couric presents the 22 minutes of news as CBS’s anchor each evening, the Web has long since digested, analyzed and commented upon each item. There are few scoops by 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

[…]

The network evening newscasts still matter. “I’ve spent my whole career trying to ask important questions, listening, asking followup questions,” said Couric during her conversation with Tim O’Reilly. Her evening news show still receives millions of viewers every night.

The trouble is that, as Couric observed during her talk, their average age is 62. The news networks have to shift gears to be relevant in a 24/7/365 environment where young consumers watch video on demand, browse news through the recommendations and status updates of friends, and watch content on Internet-enabled mobile devices as well as glowing flat screen televisions.

[…]

Couric has joined Twitter, distributed video podcasts in iTunes, published Web-first video to CBSNews.com and launched an iPhone app.

[…]

The open question for Couric will be in whether she can leverage new media to reach new audiences and break through the information overload. Her questions to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin were unquestionably a factor in the 2008 election. The network anchors will continue to play a role in holding policy makers and presidential candidates accountable, because of their access. But the days of towering figures like Cronkite, Brinkley, Chancellor, Brokaw or Jennings letting the nation know “the way it is” are over.

I’m hard pressed to find any real reason that Couric became anchor of CBS Evening News other than that she was a popular face on NBC’s Today show.  That was in 2006, which might as well be decades ago when it comes to new media.  The bottom line is, there really isn’t much there but fluff.

So yeah, she’s joined Twitter, producing podcasts, etc., and therefore, thinks she’s important to the process of how most people get their information. Who’s downloading a Katie Couric podcast?  And I haven’t checked but I’m sure she has a blog on the CBS website.  Who’s reading that to get anything relevant that’s not filtered through Viacom/CBS Corp. spin cycle?

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