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And you thought Burnett and Furcal cost a lot
2005-12-14 09:19
by Bob Timmermann

The TV news free agent market is heating up.

But will CBS want to pay for Katie Couric's Age 50 season? Will CBS eventually have to work out a deal with another network to get rid of her contract? Perhaps for some hot TV news prospects?

Actually Ms. Couric would be making far less than the most highly remunerated baseball players.

2005-12-14 09:37:04
1.   Derek Smart
The real X-factor here is how well Couric will play under the lights. We don't even have splits for her, because she's played exclusively in day games with "Today".
2005-12-14 09:40:03
2.   Ken Arneson
What was her Value Over Replacement Anchor last year?
2005-12-14 09:46:54
3.   Bob Timmermann
Since there was a lot of turnover in the Anchor market last year, it's hard to get good figures.

Who are Couric's comps: Diane Sawyer, Julie Chen? Or would they be Elizabeth Vargas and Lara Logan?

Anchormetrics is still an ill-defined science.

2005-12-14 09:55:47
4.   Vishal
do anchors only merit gender-specific comps?
2005-12-14 09:58:17
5.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, it's similar to evaluating lefties and righties in baseball. You can't have an all-female lineup just like you can't have an all-right handed lineup.
2005-12-14 10:20:32
6.   Sam DC
What about Weekend Update?
2005-12-14 10:25:17
7.   kylepetterson
Wasn't it Mrs. Couric who bus-rolled that reporter who was paddling around in the canoe and had the guys walk in front of her in waders? That was hilarious. That counts as defense, I think.
2005-12-14 10:54:17
8.   deadteddy8
I think the most appropriate comps are Connie Chung and Oprah. Started as a reporter, and then moved into "softer" interviews and whatnot. Chung's move to CNN after years of interviews bombed spectacularly, and Oprah has branched out but not into so-called hard news, so I don't think there's a very good track record for that sort of thing. And for what it's worth (channeling my inner Paul Harvey), Wikipedia says Couric has been romantically linked to Tom Werner, TV producer and part owner of the Red Sox. Good times.
2005-12-14 11:34:24
9.   Philip Michaels
All this talk about statistical analysis -- bah! What about Couric's make-up? What about her tools? Does she have The Good Face? The only thing you need to know about anchors comes from the age-old wisdom passed down from tobacco-chewing scouts who've travelled the highways and biways of newsrooms from coast to coast, who can catch a glimpse of the weekend weather guy on a network affiliate in Billings, Montana and say to themselves, "That's a future national anchor, by gum."

Fie on you and your statistical witch science!

2005-12-14 11:41:10
10.   Bob Timmermann
I think Katie Couric's makeup is important. I once saw a photo of her in a magazine as she rode in a car on the way to the "Today" show. Like most of us, she doesn't look her best at 4 am.
2005-12-14 12:23:51
11.   Mark
Couric's UZR rating is terrible-- she stays in the studio so much. Now, Matt Lauer's UZR rating, wow. Rivals that of Anderson Cooper.
2005-12-14 13:46:48
12.   Joe
I think a Couric/Kiran Chetry platoon would work. Couric is a monster from the left side and Chetry has all the tools you want in an up-and-comer and she could handle her own from the right...
2005-12-14 20:14:58
13.   Tom
They've got a much cheaper replacement with Campbell Brown at the same position. Time to let the vet go and replace her with home-grown talent.

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