At $15 million per year, she’s a poster child for big, bad media, but the impending WGA strike against CBS News has nothing to do with Katie Couric. Yet reports from Bloomberg to the Los Angeles Times, as well as headlines on Drudge, have suggested that Katie’s show is a pivot point in the possible strike, and that the newscast could be thrown for a loop by the labour dispute.
Bloomberg quotes a media buyer saying “it couldn’t happen at a worse time” for Couric. The LA Times noted that three writers and “several” graphic designers for the “Evening News” are repped by the WGA, implying that might have some impact on the newscast.
Reality check: CBS has at least 150 professional journalists — writers, editors and talent — working on a 22-minute newscast. If all three of Katie’s writers walk off, there are plenty of people who can pitch in with the words. For instance, Katie’s producer Rick Kaplan, who has also run CNN, is perfectly capable of hashing out a script. So is Katie, for that matter.
This potential strike story is about news writers working in local radio and TV in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and DC, including 1010 WINS, 880 WCBS, KNX-AM, KCBS-TV, KCAL-TV, WBBM-AM and WBBM-TV. The effect on Couric and her newscast is mostly in the minds of journalists and bloggers.