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Sunday, October 17, 2021

From Katie Couric to Jon Stewart, a media world in transition and turmoil

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It’s a time of tell-alls and taunts, of canny comebacks and creepy allegations.

Among the greatest names in media are reinventing themselves, or resigning, or simply plain settling scores.

The buzziest story on the market comes from Katie Couric, whose trash-everyone memoir has leaked to the Daily Mail. Whereas the total e book could learn in a different way than these excerpts, it’s honest to say that her stiletto-sharp assaults on an entire lot of persons are very a lot at odds together with her upbeat on-air persona.


Couric will get factors for candor in admitting she froze out potential feminine rivals whereas she was flying excessive at NBC’s “Right now” present. To befriend them can be “self-sabotage,” she writes, citing Ashleigh Banfield for example: There was “at all times somebody youthful and cuter across the nook.” (Banfield stated on NewsNation “that harm my emotions deeply. … It saddens me that we couldn’t collaborate. … Why do girls assume there isn’t any room on the high?)

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Katie Couric and Matt Lauer are seen on the set of NBC’s “Right now” present, Jan. 6, 2017. (Getty Photographs)

However why take a shot at Deborah Norville, who she changed on the NBC morning present, by saying audiences didn’t like her “relentless perfection”?

Couric engages in some blame-shifting on why her stint because the “CBS Night Information” anchor ended with decrease rankings and disappointment. She says she confronted an “insurgency” at CBS, feeling “embattled, defensive, misunderstood … like Hillary Clinton.”

I interviewed Couric extensively throughout that interval for my e book “Actuality Present,” and he or she’s a gifted journalist who tried to power an excessive amount of change too quickly on the broadcast as soon as run by Walter Cronkite. She would blow off information tales and do a nine-minute interview with Michael J. Fox that was higher suited to morning fare. She additionally confronted ridiculous expectations, partially due to her $15 million annual wage, and a few sexist protection as effectively.

Couric admits to some “unforced errors” and says she shouldn’t have finished a glamorous renovation of her workplace. 

In controversial passages printed Thursday, Couric reveals that she supported her onetime co-host Matt Lauer after NBC fired him in 2017 over allegations of serial sexual harassment.

“I’m crushed,” she texted Lauer. “I like you and care about you deeply. I’m right here. Please let me know if you wish to speak. There will likely be higher days forward.”

Couric says “my coronary heart sank” when she learn concerning the “terrible issues” Lauer had finished, however that it felt “heartless to desert him.” She is definite to attract criticism from those that imagine she is being lower than compassionate towards the feminine staffers who complained that Lauer had mistreated them.

After CBS she hosted a daytime speak present and did a gig with Yahoo, amongst different ventures. She’s bought each proper to inform her story as she sees it. However why trash the ex-boyfriends, together with one she calls a “textbook narcissist”? That trait (ahem) is in fact unknown in TV information.

Jon Stewart returns

Jon Stewart, in the meantime, launched his Apple TV present Thursday, and it’s honest to say it’s no “Day by day Present” — neither is it meant to be.

Whereas there are some jokes and gags, “The Downside with Jon Stewart” is extra like his incarnation as an admirable fighter for federal advantages for 9/11 first responders. It will get fairly severe, extra alongside the strains of his former disciple John Oliver.

Jon Stewart is seen during an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." (CBS/The Late Show)

Jon Stewart is seen throughout an look on “The Late Present with Stephen Colbert.” (CBS/The Late Present)

The debut episode begins with a employees assembly that’s taped, and because the “Day by day Present” was, is pushed by Stewart’s sense of concern. The 40-minute present has a protracted setup about what number of army service individuals had been uncovered to poisonous chemical compounds from burn pits, then brings on a panel of those that have suffered the sick results — the important thing to the brand new method.


Stewart finishes by going to the Division of Veterans Affairs and politely however firmly urgent Secretary Denis McDonough on what he’s going to do about this drawback.

The comic closes by saying most individuals received’t watch the present, simply clips on-line — he jokes that individuals don’t even know how you can subscribe to Apple TV — and possibly he’s proper. This sort of problem immersion received’t attraction to a mass viewers, and Stewart is aware of that. He’s extra intent on making a distinction than making individuals giggle.

Issues at Ozy

And there are big issues at Ozy Media, which simply misplaced the companies of longtime BBC anchor Katty Kay. She resigned over allegations she known as “severe and deeply troubling.”

The corporate, based by onetime MSNBC anchor Carlos Watson, has been rocked by revelations from New York Times columnist Ben Smith. Throughout a convention name with Goldman Sachs, which was weighing a $40 million funding, he reported, Watson’s co-founder impersonated a YouTube government — apparently with a digitally altered voice – and talked about how effectively Ozy’s movies had been doing on-line.


Watson tried to brush this off, saying his accomplice was having psychological well being points. However one main investor has since bailed on Ozy, co-founder Samir Rao is on depart and the corporate’s board is hiring a legislation agency to research its enterprise actions.

Watson advised The Wrap that the Instances piece was a “bull— advert hominem assault.” However deceptive a Wall Avenue financial institution by impersonation is hardly a minor infraction. Watson has apologized to Goldman Sachs, and Google, which owns YouTube, has alerted the FBI.

It’s, to say the least, a turbulent time within the media world.

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