Howard Kurtz takes a look at the BBC’s Katty Kay.
“For our niche audience, if you want this stuff, this is the only place to get it,” says Kay, who has lived in Washington for a decade. And the audience is no longer quite so niche: Kay reaches more viewers in this country than most cable news hosts. But unlike, say, PBS’s “NewsHour,” she must calibrate her content for a global audience.
The three-year-old “BBC World” is seen by 1 million Americans, about 80 percent on PBS stations (including Washington’s WETA at 6 p.m. weeknights and WHUT at 7), and much of the rest through the cable channel BBC America. Around the world — it does not air in Britain — the half-hour newscast claims to reach 65 million viewers each week.
Kay, 42, brings a European perspective to her job, a no-nonsense demeanor to the anchor chair and a fresh perspective on the familiar. She is conversant enough with Beltway politics — and witty enough on the air — to be in demand as a pundit on Washington chat shows, but she also understands the animosity toward America.
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