Call it The End of the Katie Couric Era. As TV news organizations restructure and reinvent themselves in an ever-expanding digital world, the time when marquee news anchors command record salaries may be drawing to a close. At least CBS boss Les Moonves thinks so.
In a lecture at the University of Texas at Austin, Moonves said that, like a homerun record set during baseball’s steroid era, the world would never again see the type of massive deal that Couric signed with CBS. “The Katie Couric deal will be the last big deal of that kind ever done,” Moonves predicted. “Those days are over, because the news no longer generates the kind of revenue or success thats worth doing [those contracts].” With a surprising amount of candor, Moonves concluded, “We thought it would make a difference. It didn’t.”
Moonves’s comments on Couric were made as part of a lecture on how old media was adapting to a new, web-based world. With news being distributed instantly, Moonves thinks that the evening news anchor’s place in the national discourse, as well as in a media company’s payroll, is being minimized. “There is nothing that Katie Couric is saying that everybody doesn’t know already,” he said, according to The Daily Texan.