Prime Time, Secondary Story

Why is Diane Sawyer's ascent to prime time making less waves than Katie Couric?

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When Katie Couric left a long and celebrated run on NBC's Today Show to become the first woman ever to anchor the nightly news, skepticism was everywhere. Three years later, Diane Sawyer is making the same move, succeeding Charlie Gibson at World News Tonight. Hours after the announcement, media watchers are asking why this appointment won't create the same kind of controversy or buzz as the last.

  • Katie Couric Made It OK to Have a Female Anchor, said Rachel Sklar at Mediaite. Couric has paved the way, even if she hasn't won the ratings game. "Things are different -- but that's why it's worth noting. Katie Couric's been leading the CBS Evening News for three years and it's still on the air," she said. And, "when it comes to waving scalps, Sarah Palin's is a pretty decent one to have claimed."
  • It Signals a Generational Shift, wrote Jeff Bercovici at The Daily Finance. "After decades of being dominated by graying-haired men, the nightly news game has now become a predominantly female enterprise."
  • The Nightly News No Longer Matters, said John Cook at Gawker. He says this is a dumb move by ABC. "Sawyer is an integral part of a profitable, growing show, and ABC News has decided to upset the apple cart--putting GMA's success at risk and providing and opening to CBS to finally get in the game--so it can put her to work on an evening broadcast that nobody watches anymore outside of retirement homes ABC is trading a successful ballplayer down to the minor leagues."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.