2 items from 2008
Dan Rather's back in the saddle again.
The former CBS Evening News anchor will be on the air Tuesday night at HDNet for at least two hours of coverage of the North Carolina and Indiana presidential primaries. The coverage, which will partly air in the Dan Rather Reports time slot, will be televised live in front of an audience at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Guests include former U.S. Rep. Tony Coelho, D-Calif., political experts Donald Fowler and Peter Hart and media critic Tom Rosenstiel.
It's the fourth such nights of election coverage for Rather, who presided over two decades' worth as the CBS anchor. Without taking anything away from what the broadcast and cable nets do, Rather said that, by circumstance and design, HDNet is doing something different.
"If all we can do is do what the others do, there's no reason to do these programs," Rather said. "We're trying to take the audience inside the political process." So instead of video walls and short bursts of analysis between exit polls and election results, Rather and his team are going to have what he calls a "conversation" about the results and what they mean. »
It was a rare bit of good news this week for the embattled news division, which had to deflect news reports about a possible partnership with CNN and speculation that Rather's successor, Katie Couric, might be on her way out by year's end.
There was little smoke in the CBS-CNN partnership, but a Wall Street Journal report indicated what many have long suspected: Couric not only could depart CBS Evening News before her contract is up but also leave CBS entirely.
CBS denied this as well, though there's little doubt that the $15 million-a-year investment in Couric hasn't worked the way the network planned. While CBS officials have been supportive in public, there was a feeling inside the network halls even before this week that Couric has until the end of the year to improve her ratings.
In yet another tough break for Couric this week, her first stint as a presidential debate moderator is now in limbo. »
2 items from 2008