Katie Couric Gets Put in 'Her Place' by Networks

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Just a few years ago, Katie Couric became the first woman to lead a network TV evening newscast, but her contract with CBS was up June 6. It's widely said that she is leaving her anchor post at CBS Evening News in order to go to daytime talk -- you know, the place where all the women folk feel most comfortable.

Katie Couric is the best. She is adorable and bubbly and she will be well-suited to take over Oprah's spot in our daytime hearts. But she is also insanely smart and sophisticated, and there is something profoundly sad in this idea that she failed to get the ratings.

Couric has the experience to make daytime talk sing. She left her spot on the Today Show in 2006 and reports say that her syndicated talk show would start in the fall of 2012. I'm sure she will rock it. But that isn't the problem.

It would've been nice to see a female anchor taken more seriously. It would've been nice to see her delivery, her questions, and her "nose for news" questioned over her choice in accessories and clothing.

Couric's bread and butter has always been her likability, and maybe that likability doesn't translate into the evening news where people want their information delivered in a dry, matter-of-fact way. Couric is bubbling with personality and everything about her screams "female!"

It's too easy to say she wasn't well-suited to the evening news because the fact is, Katie Couric knows her stuff. She is whip smart, too smart for fluffiness and silly stuff. She never would've taken the anchor position if she weren't. So it's bothersome that so many are willing to chalk it up to it just not being the right fit for her, rather than calling out the obvious: No female will ever be able to anchor the nightly news.

I could see someone like a Rachel Maddow actually doing very well in an evening anchor position, but she would never be given the chance. Female journalists already face an uphill battle. Look no further than the way CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan was treated following her sexual assault in Egypt. Look at sports reporter Erin Andrews or Ines Sainz. The fact is, women in men's fields (like war or sports journalism) are treated badly, like objects, and then mocked if they complain about that.

Obviously, Katie Couric is still beloved, but even she who so many love couldn't crack the boy's club. Maybe the problem isn't with her and her "fit" as a nightly news anchor. Maybe the problem is with them and what they expect. Until things change, there is simply no room at the table for female energy. And that is a very sad thing.

Do you think Katie Couric is doing a bad thing by going back to her roots?


Image via isafmedia/Flickr

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