But two media reporters have shifted their focus to CNN’s 9 p.m. hour, where Larry King has held fort since 1985. Both Jeff Bercovici at Daily Finance and Jon Friedman at Market Watch argue that “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric is King’s logical successor.
It isn’t idle speculation. Couric would be ideal. She is smart, glib, engaging and chatty. She is also a good interviewer, someone who can handle the Hollywood fluff as deftly as the task of grilling evasive politicians, such as vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin. When Couric buttonholed Palin — politely but firmly — about the 2008 presidential campaign, she was at her best.
If there’s a deus ex machina here, it’s the looming potential partnership with CBS. If that comes to fruition, it could result in Katie Couric taking over for Larry King at 9 p.m. With her knack for news-making interviews, Couric could restore some excitement to CNN without violating its nonpartisan ethos. Katie Couric Live could be the nucleus of a new identity for CNN — something the network needs badly.
As both Friedman and Bercovici note, rumors have been heating up that CBS News and CNN could form some sort of partnership.