The Results Of “I Want To Be The Next Katie Couric Week:” It’s (Almost) A Tie!

By Brian 

This morning, TVNewser asked readers to vote on who won “I want to be the next Katie Couric week.” The results (so far) are in, and it’s a close race: Campbell Brown has 50.9 percent of the vote and Natalie Morales has 49.1 percent.

A former Today Show staffer writes: “Although I would hate to see Katie go… it seems inevitable. And after watching the ‘I Want To Be’ week (I labeled it the same thing in my mind) I would say Campbell had the stronger showing. The hard news ability is the tipping point. Campbell is just more comfortable with news makers. Her goofy stiffness with the social stuff is kind of endearing. Natalie… whom I totally love just doesn’t seem very comfortable with hard news. This morning, in what was obviously an attempt to give her some weighty interviews, she seemed stiff and almost as if she were reading questions off a prompter. Another two or three years and she will be prefect. For right now… it seems to be all Campbell!”

A cable insider has a different view: “Natalie is the best choice. While Campbell has good news experience she is stiff on the lighter parts of the show. At the same time Natalie is good at news, but a natural for the entertainment and lifestyle story she also has a good chemistry with Matt (on air it feels forced with Campbell). It is possible to learn hard news but impossible to learn the human touch, you really have to just have it.”

More comments are after the jump…

“Campbell, Campbell Campbell…. Natalie is just a little too young, and she seems nervous in the chair.”

“Natalie won the I want to be the next Katie Couric contest… Campbell is better as a fill in for the nightly news. Natalie is more of a morning personality.”

“Natalie! Natalie! Natalie! Yes Campbell has more hard news chops but Natalie just has more charm and personality and it’s not like she’s stupid or anything. She is very smart. She just has more spontaneity and it showed this week next to Campbell. I vote Natalie!”

“Campbell Brown should get the weekday “Today” show (except holidays) and Natalie Morales should get “Today” on weekends and holidays. NBC should furthermore, regardless of whether Katie Couric stays or goes, give the weekday “Today” on-air team all national holidays (July 4th, Labor Day, etc.) off and put the weekend team on during holidays. Besides, most “prime” (6 and 11 P.M. on ABC/CBS/NBC stations; 10 P.M. on Fox/UPN/WB stations) local news anchors around the country have it written into their contracts that they get all holidays off.”

“Campbell should replace Katie. The show could use her hard news backgound. Remember Katie came to TODAY from Washington as well. She too once had roots in real news. Then move Ann to Dateline full time and have Natalie at the news desk.”

“Natalie… hands down. She held her own on the serious stories and this morning during the concert series, she proved she has an ease working the crowds.”

“NBC has a great problem on their hands. If Today was strictly a hard news show then the choice would have to be Brown based on experience but Today is not just a hard news show. A major portion of its broadcasts are as a publicity forum for the nbc/universal own shows plus concerts, kitchen segments and stunts. Morales has news ability and combines with Lauer and whomever the newsreader is to cover any major breaking story. Morales is younger, softer and offers the potential to reach a broader demographic. Campbell Brown has got great credentials and has shown again recently that she can anchor the evening news. NBC would be wise to cast her in a role that will not risk her hard news credibility.”