Celebri-spiral™: Enough Already

Our culture is in a celebri-spiral. We're conflicted over our ridiculous, growing celebrity culture consumption via magazines, websites, and TV shows. In 2007, my love/hate conflict made me take to the blog-o-sphere. All writing on this site © Dave Singleton 2009.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12, 2007: Is Katie a Victim of Celebri-spiral Withdrawal?

Apparently, it's take-a-whack-at-Katie time. According to numerous columns like Media Mix, six months post her overly-hyped launch as CBS Nightly News anchor, Ms. Couric is 3rd in the ratings, behind Charlie Gibson on ABC and Brian Williams on NBC.

Maybe nightly news viewers really do take to a kindly, aged 60+ white man feeding them the nightly news. Maybe the nightly audience is much different than the morning one. Maybe there was too much hype and expectation on Katie. Maybe there is channel brand loyalty and the die-hards don't like switching. Maybe it's all about the affiliates and lead-ins and no anchor will be a game-changer.

But maybe, just maybe, viewers liked her Today Show personality, her camaraderie with co-anchors, and the subtle but persistent way her celebrity edged its way into our lives. We celebri-spiraled with Katie-over her tragedy, her causes, her friends, and...well, just her.

This is gone for now. Colorectal Katie, with the fabulous annual fundraisers and the funny repartee with other, less charismatic celebrities has been replaced by serious Katie, reporting on Iraq, Washington, and the world economy. She's a great reporter. That hasn't changed. But her celebrity status has. In six months, she's not been in the news or tabloids much. During her broadcast, no longer does she offer her fans the opportunity to celebri-spiral over her. Could that contribute to the ratings slump?

She has a new producer, veteran Rick Kaplan, now onboard to help boost the show. I hope it helps. I have to admit I am a fan who misses her in the morning and hasn't adjusted to her new role.

She hasn't made a misstep, or am I biased, based on the fact that I just like her? What other reasons could there be for her lack of ratings success? Or is too much being made of Katie's alleged failure to launch?


Blogger Unknown said...

Oh C-S...sadly, you are among the last left that has any affection towards Ms. Couric. And I think she is well due for this payback. Katie Couric is the David Caruso of network news, delusions of grandeur abound. The reason her popularity soared as it did with Matt, Al and her nemesis, the lovely Ann Curry, is because of one thing: chemistry. It is actually Matt Lauer who made her look good all these years...say what you want about his intelligence and depth, he is a kickass straight man and perfect co-anchor (which I guess makes him the Dennis Franz of network news...). Katie took everyone's career in her greedy little hands when she jumped ship to "make history" at as a nightly news anchor. So now, just as Katie used the media and her crafty handlers to plant stories about her supposed and then actual flight to CBS, her detractors, who are PLENTY, have been waiting patiently for the moment to strike with whispers, planted stories and blind items all their own. So Miss Katie is not perky and perfect--well, you reap what you sow....

Monday, March 12, 2007 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Singleton said...

Wow, Suz, I had no idea of the energy behind the Katie backlash. Here I thought it was one little NY Times reporters in a foul mood, and a gaggle of media pundits looking for a ratings boost.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katie was a celebrity, now she's lost in the morass. Sad, but true.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt is totally happy in the fabulous box he's in; Katie wanted out. But now it's a different world and different audience.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa G said...

As I may or may not have made clear, I don't watch morning talk shows or news shows. In the first place, people should be sleeping when those morning shows are on. And news shows are full of information that can be read, and that don't need accompanying visuals, by and large. Third, I don't own a tv, so whatever I sees, I sees on youtube.

Thus, it didn't even gently shake my world that Katie left a morning show to move to a news show, as there was no danger I'd ever see her on either. I DO remember her husband dying of cancer and thinking that was really sad, and her sister,whose name I am forgetting, has someting to do with Virginia politics, and she seemed mroe enlightened than your average Virginia politician (which is to say, not someone who would have had a lot in common with Hitler).

Despite this lack of interaction with the Katie, I have heard tale after tale about her cuteness and about how she has nice legs. The legs I will give her. But every photo I've ever seen of her has only been marginally less scary than this one right here.

I must say I admire celebrities who have the balls to actually make facial expressions while flashbulbs are popping. Oprah is a grand example of this. Girlfriend could care less what state of contortion she is caught in. Of course, she makes her living not being pretty, per se, but being emotionally available, which requires facial expression. There are countless other celebs who keep their faces in states of botoxed immobility (Nicole Kidman, hello there) and/or wan, vacant smiles (Beyonce, what's up).

So I sort of admire Katie's lack of pretension in this photo. But on the other hand, she sort of resembles a deranged clown.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Cathleen Rittereiser said...

Katie should just cut to the chase, travel to Iraq and get her head blown off in a roadside bombing. That will perk (no pun intended) up the ratings in no time. Just the real-time, live combination plastic surgery and colon exam alone will make American Idol look like that Heather Graham show that got cancelled in the middle of the first episode.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 8:57:00 PM  

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