Katie Couric’s comforting style is perfect for tough times, or so a 5% uptick in the ratings for CBS’ Evening News suggests. In Couric’s hands, economic catastrophe, Mideast violence and terrorism become “news you can warm up to,” Tom Shales writes in the Washington Post. After the election cycle’s most-hyped Sarah Palin interview, America’s first solo female anchor finally has ammo to hush critics.
The CBS telecast still falls third behind NBC and ABC, the same spot Couric inherited 2 years ago. Initially, her artificial gravitas and teleprompter stumbles foreshadowed a short-lived stint. Tough but hospitable Couric has since allowed more of herself to come through. “People are getting used to me in this role, and I’ve become increasingly comfortable in it,” she tells Shales.