Couric Bad Timing Could Kill Her Talk Show

Katie Couric could not have picked a more difficult time to launch a new daytime talk show. That appears to be the consensus of television executives interviewed by former Broadcasting & Cable executive editor P.J. Bednarski for the website Bill Carroll, VP of programming for Katz Television Group, the media buying and consulting company, noted that Couric's debut is "coming a full year after Oprah so new viewing habits will have been set. It's coming at the beginning of the second year of most three-year contracts for other talk shows so there aren't many good spots on the schedule to put her." As Bednarski observed, other syndicators have already grabbed the 4 00 p.m. slot that Oprah once occupied and even with that time period -- the most ideal for a daytime talk show -- Oprah's audience had diminished to less than half what it was in the early '90s. Says Bednarski "Couric's real timing problem is that broadcasting isn't what it used to be, even a few years ago. The size of the broadcast daytime audience is smaller than in Winfrey's prime, whittled away by scores of cable channels."



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