If Katie Bolts To CBS, Best Choice Is Already In-House
Today's Wall Street Journal has a thinly sourced story about NBC brass contemplating who'll get to keep Matt Lauer company should Katie Couric weary of the predawn patrol and relieve Bob Schieffer at the "CBS Evening News."
In the article from Brook Barnes, there is a cryptic sentence about the chances of Campbell Brown, who co-hosts "Weekend Today," moving over to replace Couric.
"Ms. Brown has star wattage, but NBC worries her hard-news bent wouldn't fit well with the fluffy segments that are the "Today" show's bread and butter."
Well, whomever "NBC" actually is, either hasn't watched Brown that carefully, is a poor student of history, or both.
The 37-year-old Brown has indeed established her hard-news credentials, first in Washington and especially notably in post-Katrina New Orleans. But she's also established a down-to-earth, unpretentious and engaging persona during more placid times on "Today."
She's proven equally at ease grilling Bush administration officials as learning how to grill a steak during a cooking segment.
If she's not a huge fan of the fluff, Brown does a great job of hiding that. If nothing else, she's proven to be the consummate team player on the ensemble that "Today" really should be, rather than the Couric star vehicle it is now -- the "Where In The World Is Matt Lauer" gigs notwithstanding.
And who's to say she wouldn't be a fit for such segments? After all, Couric came to NBC as a Pentagon correspondent and joined "Today"as its first national correspondent in 1990, back in the days when she was still "Katherine Couric."
Couric didn't exactly have many fashion and wedding segments under her belt when she first took over. Somehow she's managed.
The Journal points to Meredith Vieira winning the hearts and minds at 30 Rock. Wishful thinking, as the article suggests. Besides, she has an extremely cushy and lucrative gig at "The View."
Remember, this is the woman bounced off "60 Minutes" because she had the temerity to get pregnant. With three teenagers in the house now, it's hard to see her bounding out of her Westchester home in the dead of night right about now.
So, if Couric leaves, and we're still not sure why she'd do that even if it meant getting to sleep in -- look for Brown to get the nod.
Meantime, NBC worry-warts have time to backpedal and catch her on "Weekend Today" to see that all will not be lost -- and that includes Today's sizeable lead over Good Morning America -- should the Perky One take her leave.