On her first night as “CBS Evening News” anchor, Katie Couric showed she wasn’t afraid to take some chances.
Couric opened with a flashy investigative report, interviewed an expert on the set and allowed an outsider to deliver his own commentary. None of that would be commonplace in a news format she has called formulaic and in need of spicing up.
“We’re trying a few new things here on the evening news,” Couric said.
The most obvious was her presence as the top female in network news. She was introduced in a voiceover recorded by CBS News legend Walter Cronkite, but her newscast looked nothing like the sober recitation of news headlines common in Cronkite’s era.
Couric’s long-awaited debut capped a tumultuous period for the evening news. For more than two decades, the network news was dominated by Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather. Now, Couric will compete against Brian Williams at top-rated NBC and Charles Gibson at ABC.