Katie A No-Show @ Gracies


Did Katie skip to avoid reporters?

At last night’s Gracie Awards hosted by American Women in Radio & Television — where a head-spinning 41 awards were given out — Katie Couric, despite reports from her reps late last week that she would be attending and talking to reporters, was a no show. Couric had been scheduled to appear to accept an award for the piece she did on Condoleezza Rice for 60 Minutes with the show’s writers and producers. Instead she accepted the award via video.

Sitting in front of a desk with the 60 Minutes logo behind her, Couric, in her best earnest anchor woman persona, said she “wished she could be there” but she “was taking a few days off to spend time with my daughters who are heading off to camp.” Associate producer Jenny Dubin and writer Tom Anderson took the stage when the lights came up. There was plenty of chatter afterwards — all off the record, of course — among the evening’s attendees that the formerly ubiquitous newser is tired of defending herself and the network’s last place broadcast to reporters. Dan Rather‘s comments about CBS “tarting up” the evening news with Couric’s arrival seemed to be the last straw.

Longtime pal Soledad O’Brien hopes Rather’s remarks aren’t keeping Couric up at night: “His comments really are irrelevant and I hope she’s taking them as such.”

Bob Schieffer, who was there to present an award to CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier for her work in Iraq where she was critically injured last May in a bombing that killed camera man Paul Douglas and sound engineer James Brolan, opted to stay out of the fray. Ever the gentleman, the sage newsman preferred to not address the Rather dust-up directly but instead offered this assessment of the job Couric is doing at his former perch: “I think the broadcast is moving in the right direction.”

— Diane Clehane