Friedman’s 2005 Awards: To Katie Couric, Nightline, CNN, & Bill O’Reilly

By Brian 

Jon Friedman hands out Media Web’s 2005 Awards:

AMERICA’S SWEETHEART RULES – Katie Couric, the co-anchor of the “Today” show on NBC, is the media icon-to-watch in 2006. Will she or won’t she jump to anchor “The CBS Evening News?” Last month, I speculated that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts should be Newsweek’s “Who’s Next” cover subject. But I was premature – Katie has clearly emerged as the perfect choice. It seems that every time the ever-shrewd Couric declines to comment, the media dutifully report that CBS’ offer just grew by a cool million or two. Nice work if you can get it, eh?

D.O.A. – ABC’s aimless, much-criticized new version of “Nightline.” Somewhere, Ted Koppel, whom ABC regarded as being too draggy and old-school (read: serious) to lure young viewers, is chuckling and saying to whoever will listen, “I told you so!”

THE CALLOUS NEWS NETWORK – CNN’s media relations team dropped the ball and looked like the Cartoon News Network when CNN threw Aaron Brown overboard (not that CNN looked much classier when it cut loose Bill Hemmer). By the way, practically no single news event in 2005 sparked as many emails from outraged Media Web readers as Brown’s unceremonious exit.

IF YOU’RE GOIN’ TO SAN FRANCISCO, BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR – Yes, I mean YOU, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, since you sounded off in your trademark delicate way last month about one of America’s great cities. “Listen, citizens of San Francisco,”, among others, breathlessly quoted O’Reilly as saying, “if you vote against military recruiting, you’re not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead… And if al-Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.” Coit Tower is a San Francisco landmark. Bill O’Reilly is a landmark loudmouth – and a genius at self-promotion.