Choosing A Different Lead

By Brian 

> Flashback: TV Week, Aug. 21, 2006: “Stephanopoulos Spurns CBS”

CBS tried to woo George Stephanopoulos and Chris Matthews to host Face the Nation,’s Roger Friedman hears.

Friedman, usually a big fan of Katie Couric, says “CBS News still has big problems,” citing last night as an example: “When the other shows led with President Bush’s veto of the Iraq exit bill, Katie Couric’s program began the night with immigration protests around the country.”

He says Couric’s producers “take the stand that it is not necessary to lead their broadcast with the same stories as Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams.” But he thinks the long immigration feature was “not an immediate issue.”

He concludes: “Couric’s show must learn to compete against Williams and Gibson on their own ground first before branching out into existential decisions. Otherwise, it won’t keep the audience.”

> Update: 12:33pm: “Regarding the different leads, CBS opened with two stories on the rallies. One was centered on the children of illegals who are seperated from their parents when they are deported. It was a cliched Couric kind of piece, with kids tugging at the heart strings and full of overwrought empathy,” an e-mailer says…