Opinion Brief

Anderson Cooper: Replacing Couric?

Commentators debunk rumors that CNN's silver fox will be taking over Katie Couric's anchor chair at CBS

A New York Times report suggesting that CNN's Anderson Cooper could be replacing CBS News' anchor Katie Couric has met with almost universal skepticism in media circles. Though Cooper already contributes to CBS's "60 Minutes," his spokesperson denies that any further discussions are taking place. Not all commentators believe it's that simple:

This smells like a desperate P.R. power play: Insiders are telling me that Cooper's team planted the Times's story, says Roger Friedman at the Hollywood Reporter, because he's desperate to get out of his ratings disaster at CNN. If that's true, I doubt CBS will bite. For one thing, Couric gets about 6 million viewers nightly, while Cooper draws less than 1 million — he's not exactly Oprah. So, "don’t start planning for the Invasion of the Silver Fox just yet."
"Couric vs. Cooper: Katie's safe at CBS"

Despite Couric's shaky record, this rumor is garbage: "I’m skeptical — don’t expect Cooper to anchor the [CBS] Evening News any time soon…or ever," says Steve Krakauer in Mediaite. Couric has frequently been under fire (the Philadephia Inquirer called her an "expensive, unfixable mistake" in 2007), but she's making "in-roads that don’t show up in the Nielsen ratings." Her web program '@KatieCouric' has made significant progress in helping CBS deal with the changing network news world.
"New Katie Couric rumors swirl, this time involving Anderson Cooper"

The rumored takeover would make little sense for Cooper, anyway: How would Anderson Cooper cope with being trapped behind a desk," asks Bob Sassone in TV Squad, unable to "hop around the globe during a crisis" as is his wont? If the rumors are not completely unfounded and Cooper is in line for the CBS anchor job, one thing's for sure: He'll have to "stop talking so fast."
"Has CBS News offered Katie's job to Anderson Cooper?"

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