As news spreads that Katie Couric will be departing as anchor of the CBS Evening News, radio giant Rush Limbaugh says Couric simply “destroyed” the network when it comes to viewership.
A network executive told the Associated Press last night that Couric is leaving her anchor post less than five years after becoming the first woman to solely helm a network TV evening newscast.
On his nationally broadcast radio show today, Limbaugh, a frequent critic of Couric, said, “I’m sorry, Katie, but you know facts are facts. You guys might own the narrative, but we have the facts here, and ‘CBS Evening News’ ratings are the lowest in history. And don’t think if that ever happened to my ratings, people would report that. I’m sure the stories are already written. …
“The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, that she destroyed it. The network news ratings for CBS just plummeted.”
The AP story by David Bauder included information about high-profile awards Couric’s newscast received, with which Limbaugh took issue.
“Here’s Mr. Bauder writing ‘Despite the ratings problems, the “CBS Evening News” won the Edward R. Murrow Award as best newscast in 2008 and 2009.’ Now if that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the state of broadcast journalism in this day and age, the absolute lowest-rated newscast wins the highest award possible. What have I always said about liberalism? Failure is a résumé enhancement. These people circle the wagons.”
Couric reportedly earns $15 million per year as anchor, and no official date of departure has been announced, though her contract expires June 4.
“We’re having ongoing discussions with Katie Couric,” said CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair told AP. “We have no announcements to make at this time. Until we do, we will continue to decline comment on rumor or speculation.”
As WND reported in March 2007, an unscientific poll of America Online users suggested Couric was personally responsible for the ratings plunge at CBS, as 8 in 10 respondents said the move by the former co-host of NBC’s “Today” show to CBS was a bad decision for both Couric and the Tiffany Network.
With some 300,000 votes in the survey, 82 percent responded “No” when asked “Was switching to CBS a good move for Couric?” and 78 percent also answered in the negative when asked, “Was choosing Couric a good move for CBS?”
When given two choices of where they’d rather watch Couric – on “Today” or the “CBS Evening News” – only 11 percent chose her current position. Regarding predictions of Couric’s future ratings at CBS, a majority – 55 percent – felt they would continue to plummet, while 32 percent thought they’d remain constant, and 13 percent expected a jump.