Conspicuously absent from the 32nd annual American Women in Radio and Television Awards, held on Monday, June 18, at the Times Square Marriott Marquis, were Katie Couric, of CBS’ floundering Evening News, and Rosie O’Donnell, late of ABC’s The View.
CNBC financial pundit Suze Orman, 56, pronounced herself a fan of both gals. “What sets Katie apart, aside from that she’s a woman, is she brings a light, a little spark that everybody else is trying to put out,” Ms. Orman said. “Stop trying to put out her spark, everybody! Support Ms. Katie Couric!” O.K. ….
CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, 40, fondly remembered being mentored by Ms. Couric at NBC’s Today. “I think Katie’s doing great,” she said firmly. “She has bit of a lot. You know, it’s a tough gig.”
Veteran CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer, 70, meanwhile, struck an avuncular tone. “I sometimes say I was in charge of the welcome wagon,” he said of Ms. Couric’s arrival at the network. “I thought she could do a good job, kind of set CBS News apart. And I remain a fan.” B-b-but … what about those plummeting ratings? “Newscasts have to be about the news and when they get to be about other things, that’s when they don’t do as well,” Mr. Schieffer said. “I think they tried a few things—some worked, some didn’t work, but I like the direction the broadcast is going right now.”
View co-hostess Joy Behar, 63, said she usually watches Wolf Blitzer on CNN for hard news, “but I will flick around, and I watch Katie here and there. I think she’s gotten a bum rap from Dan Rather. I think he should really apologize to her.” She was referring to the former CBS anchor’s recent statement that the network was “tarting it up” with Ms. Couric, who took over the top chair last September. “That was a sexist remark,” Ms. Behar continued. “It was a bitter remark. It came from somebody who should know better, and he was my hero during the Nixon administration, so I don’t want to trash him too much, but he needs to renege on that comment.”
And what of Ms. O’Donnell?
“I don’t know,” Ms. Behar said. “I mean, I’m friends with Rosie, and I got along really well with her this year. I thought she definitely made the show more exciting and I’ll miss her. I’m also up for the next round, whatever it is,” she added, smirking suggestively. God help us all!