It's more than just multiplying by two the sexy librarian fantasy that has white men everywhere riveted by Sarah Palin. It's that Couric is the right choice for an interview that will finally teach us something about the enigmatic Alaska governor.
But it WAS over the holiday weekend, so we forgive him. Plus, another dude climbs the 'Times' building, Lehman considers Jersey, the Plaza has a big flip, and summer associates get down on their knees, in our daily industry report.
Shelley Ross, the executive producer of CBS' Early Show, whose staffers were complaining about her last week, has been out of the office all week, and her things "were seen being taken out of her office" yesterday. "Page Six" thinks she's probably been fired, and they give a whole rundown of the terrible sins she supposedly committed against her staff, culminating in a quote from former colleague Charlie Gibson, who reportedly muttered at a funeral they both attended over the weekend, "It took us six years to get rid of her. How come it only took them five months?" Maybe it's because we once had a boss who instituted an office-wide "tackling policy" and occasionally spoke to us through the zipper on his pants, but we maintain our position that Ross's staff sounds like a bunch of babies and that she has been, perhaps, unfairly maligned.
You know how we love Anderson Cooper? No? Well, welcome to our blog, we're so happy to have first-time readers. For the rest of you, we have some bad news. We are developing a new newscasting crush. No, it's not Shep Smith, though his eyebrows are appropriately intense. It's ABC News' David Muir. He's tall, he's gorgeous, he has one of those surreally serious Anchor Voices, and he's one of New York's rising stars of 2008's campaign coverage. We tracked him down to ask him a few burning questions:
What do you think we're going to know the day after Super Tuesday?
That we still have a long way to go until November.
What type of coverage intimidates you?
The idea of doing what Charlie Gibson did in New Hampshire … moderating two back-to-back debates with the Democrats and the Republicans. He set the bar.
At the memorial service for former movie critic Joel Siegel, ABC anchor Charles Gibson noted that the Jewish Siegel sent the best Christmas cards. Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford got cozy with a "rude and nasty" Carrie Underwood at Marquee and a party at Soho Grand (not "Chance" Crawford, as reported by "Page Six"). Vanessa and Donald Trump Jr. dined at Gemma and drank at the Rose Bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel. Cindy Adams claims that members of John Edwards's camp are "profoundly worried" about the recent allegations that Edwards strayed on his wife. David Lauren and Lauren Bush arrived via motorcycle to the Domino Bazaar Saturday.
We have a little of the generational ADD, which is why we couldn't totally focus on the front-page business-section story this morning in the big inky Times about the cool new Webcasts ABC is putting on its site for people with generational ADD. We caught that the videos "purposely look raw and personal, like they came from MTV rather than ABC," but then we were confused a few lines later, when they told us that in one of them, Charles Gibson interviewed the network's chief White House correspondent, Martha Raddatz, "for a full 3 minutes and 20 seconds — an eternity on a half-hour television newscast." So like any busy Internet person, we clicked over to the ABC Website to check it out for ourselves, and let us tell you, we could have written that Times story in five seconds. It would have read: "The video in which child preacher Samuel Boutwell tells JuJu Chang she is going to hell is AWESOME."
ABC Reshapes the Evening News for Web [NYT]
Pint Size Preachers [ABC]
There's already been much ado about Charlie Gibson's refusal to play along with Stephen Colbert's goofy "WristStrong" campaign, and the Times article that exposed the mini-controversy. Colbert asked the Gibson and Katie Couric and Brian Williams to wear bracelets on air in order to raise awareness of "wrist violence," and Katie and Brian, the fun anchors, are playing along. In the article Huffington Post media editor Rachel Sklar said their participation shows "good humor" and "humanity," and then Portfolio blogger Jeff Bercovici jumped on her for it — pointing out that the whole reason people like hearing the news from Charlie Gibson is because he isn't fun, he's serious. But our question is why was blogger Rachel Sklar quoted as a TV news expert in the first place? Why not someone with experience in the biz who could lend more insight — or an insider? Because the article was written by young Brian Stelter, a.k.a. the wunderkind behind the blog TVNewser, that's why. Before he was recently hired by the Gray Lady, he was Sklar's co-worker and buddy at Mediabistro. Silly Stetler — you can't just quote your friends. This is the Times, not the Observer!
Two Out of Three Anchors Join Colbert in Wrist Stunt [NYT]
Charlie Gibson Only Cool in the Ratings [Mixed Media]
The network-news world is quaking: ABC's World News Tonight, with Charles Gibson, is overtaking Brian Williams on NBC's Nightly News in the ratings after years and years of NBC domination. While New York has had ourissues with ole Charlie, the achievement is nevertheless impressive. And NBC, for its part, is responding the way TV networks tend to respond: It's firing longtime Nightly executive producer John Reiss. But infinitely more fascinating than Reiss's imminent canning is the way Gibson is catching up. While NBC's evening-news audience hemorrhaged over half a million viewers in 2006, ABC's audience grew by a mere 60,000. In other words, WNT isn't really luring eyeballs away from Nightly. It's just that people are abandoning the format in droves, and 2006, while a fine year for ABC, was a particular crappy one at 30 Rock. So celebrate while you can in Disney world; no doubt your viewers are disappearing next. (Does Katie even have any left to lose?) Meantime, pass the Geritol.
NBC May Oust Evening News Executive [NYT]
Earlier: Charles in Charge [NYM]