It wasn’t hard to predict that, when she left her co-hosting gig as America’s Sweetheart on “The Today Show,” Katie Couric would fail miserably as Dan Rather’s replacement on the CBS Evening News. Even a certain blogger I know nailed it.
It also wasn’t hard to predict that Katie would fall flat at CNN. But, I must say I did think her lighthearted, goofy, girl-next-door style would resonate on the daytime talk show circuit.
Well, I was wrong. According to Hollywood Reporter, Katie’s show won’t be renewed for a third season.
And, the reasons WHY Katie’s being shown the door are positively fascinating.
Katie patronizes her viewers. She refuses to listen to advice suggesting she stop trying to be daytime’s answer to Christiane Amanpour and, instead, embrace the warm and fuzzy subjects stay-at-home moms seem to prefer (those are the Hollywood Reporter’s words. Not mine).
One undisclosed source (BTW, I want to be an undisclosed source in my next life), said Katie has “utter disdain” for her audience. Nice.
Katie has also alienated many a top star, some of whom refuse to sit still for her ‘tough’ interrogations, and boycott her show. And, “Katie” has experienced more staff turnover than a top five global PR firm (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Katie’s a hot mess for two reasons:
– She won’t listen to the wants and needs of her audience. Lots of corporations make the same mistake. One must always listen first and engage second.
– She’s living in the past. Katie needs to embrace change and be willing to adapt. This is a common mistake I see in businesses as well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Yet, over time, the business model is no longer relevant and, by the time the business realizes it, it may be too late. Businesses need to constantly change and adapt. Netflix did. Blockbuster didn’t.
Katie’s been drinking her own Kool-Aid for far too long, and she still believes she knows what’s best for viewers. She doesn’t.
One of the challenges facing any successful entertainer, or executive, is to recognize when one has “arrived”.
I, for example, have turned down job offers to manage local delis, run the fruit stand downstairs or join our building’s security staff. Ed and I have also rejected more than one tempting acquisition offer over the years.
That’s because I know (in my head and heart) that nothing could surpass Peppercomm in terms of job satisfaction. Period.
Katie walked away from the best gig of her life, and has been wandering in the wilderness ever since.
That said and, if nothing else, Katie Couric is a Triple A-type, driven personality. Look for Katie, version 4.0, to pop-up on your TV screens sometime soon. If she were smart, Katie would go back to playing the lightweight, sitting alongside a Bryant Gumbel or Matt Lauer on a morning infotainment show. There’s still time for her to reclaim the crown as America’s Darling.
She just needs to listen.
Today’s post is dedicated to Thomas J. “Thom” Powers, Jr., who has carried a very big torch for a very long time for tiny Katie Couric.