Thursday, January 15, 2009

Couric uses Palin's back to step up in ratings

Media Life Magazine chronicles Katie Couric's recent rise in TV ratings, attributing it to the Palin interview, superior election coverage, and suddenly-winsome style:

The newscast’s rise began early this fall, when Couric landed one of the first interviews with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. In a bit that became an online viral hit, Palin flubbed one question after another as a calm Couric continued to question her.

Couric’s momentum continued with a series of election pieces over the fall that showcased her considerable talent as an interviewer and reporter. Compared to the other anchors, ABC’s Charles Gibson and NBC’s Brian Williams, Couric aired far more taped packages during 2008, according to the nightly news tracker The Tyndall Report.

Critics, who had excoriated Couric’s more folksy and featurey approach in her debut, began to come around. She made numerous year-end media winner lists and talk of her exit from the anchor chair died down quickly.

In fact, she may owe Palin for her continued rise over recent weeks. The Alaska governor has been making the media rounds, and complaining about the disastrous Couric interview and thus reminding viewers again of her newscast.