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Edward R. Murrow Archives

Apr 6
The Katie Couric Debate Rages
The debate it is on. And it has surprised me a little. CBS and Katie Couric made history on their deal to bring Katie to the CBS Evening News as the first woman sole anchor.

Maybe I just don’t care enough about the evening news, but I am intrigued by the amount of buzz out there about this decision. Much of it is criticism of CBS which I have a hard time understanding. I respect anyone that is willing to innovate and take a new approach to an old situation. Apparently, not everyone agrees. Just read the comments on Vaughn Ververs editorial at CBS’ Public Eye or Marc Cooper. Jarvis at BuzzMachine is critical because it is not bold enough.

I am just a simple-minded businessman but I look at it this way. You run the news department for the perennial 3rd place winner in the 3-“man” network race. You see the world around you (traditional media) changing as blogs and other media gain share in the market for information and news. A scandal rocks your news division. Does any one here vote to “stay the course?”

CBS has found a slight renewal with Bob Shieffer as its interim anchor. Ratings at CBS have increased slightly as ratings have decreased for ABC and NBC. Schieffer has restored credibility to the once powerful news division of CBS that brought us Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Harry Reasoner, Mike Wallace and even Dan Rather. It is afterall, the network of 60 Minutes. CBS hopes Couric pushes this renewal further.

Not everybody thinks CBS is crazy or that Couric is just "fluff."  Fox News reports that:

“Don Hewitt, the man who created 60 Minutes and carried the banner of Edward R. Murrow for decades, told me he thinks Couric will do fine as the new anchor of The CBS Evening News. Indeed, Hewitt said: ‘I tried to hire her for '60 Minutes' 10 years ago. We talked about it a lot.’ With that kind of support, Couric should be fine as she makes the transition.”

From NPR’s All Things Considered:

"A journalist who was not a fan of NBC's Today show found herself interviewed by Katie Couric... and blown away by her interviewing abilities. Now she thinks Couric would make a great evening news anchor."

And read a comment in response to Marc Cooper's post and a post at Progressive Values that looks at CBS’ ability to import personalities.
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Apr 5
Couric Makes History as First Woman Solo Anchor
Katie Couric has announced that she will leave the NBC’s Today Show after 15 years to become the anchor of the CBS Evening News.

couric.jpgCouric will become the first woman to solely anchor a network news program, breaking a glass ceiling that is certainly overdue and a leading a change in an otherwise traditional medium and institution.

Despite the recent challenges in the news department at CBS, the Tiffany network has a legacy of journalistic prowess. Couric must fill the shoes of greats such as William Paley, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Harry Reasoner, Mike Wallace, Dan Rather and Bob Schieffer

The Moderate Voice provides an interesting perspective on how this change fits into the new world of media and also points out the commentary written by Vaughn Ververs on CBS’ Public Eye. If you think everyone in America is ready for this change be sure and read the comments on Ververs post.

Couric in describing her decision to leave the Today Show remarked, "Sometimes I think change is a good thing. Although it may be terrifying to get out of your comfort zone, it's also exciting to start a new chapter in your life."

You can’t lead if you aren’t willing to take chances and leave that comfort zone.

Read more on the Washington Post.
Over the weekend, I fought through the movie going masses that were looking for sorcery from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire or in line to see a tribute to the Man in Black in Walk the Line. Don’t get me wrong, I am part of the masses. I am keenly interested in seeing both of these films, however, not on opening night. Instead, I took the contrarians path and threw down my ten spot and sat down to Good Night, and Good Luck.

The result was a mesmerizing experience. This was not traditional movie making but more a civics lesson from the past with clear implications and relevance to today. A review by Stephanie Zacharek from could not have said it any better

"This is serious grown-up entertainment with a sense of history and a sense of style, the kind of picture almost no one knows how to -- or, perhaps more accurately, can find the means to -- make anymore."

Good Night, and Good Luck was directed by George Clooney, and was billed as a film that showcases the historic battle between Senator Joseph McCarthy  and Edward R. Murrow.

For me, the story this movie told was much more. It was about the power of one man’s murrow.jpgability to change history and the responsibility each of us has to seek and report the truth. On one hand, was the power of McCarthy and his ability to whip the public, through fear, into a froth of misguided judgment. Juxtaposed to McCarthy, was Edward R. Murrow, a seasoned and celebrated journalist who took a stand for truth and innovatively used the media to share that truth and thus, represented several qualities of leadership.
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Edward R. Murrow Archives



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