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Help Choose Dan Rather's Replacement!

Dan Rather will be leaving his anchor position at CBS Evening News.  I haven't really gloated about this online, despite my dislike for what CBS News has become, mainly because I don't see any evidence that CBS is really going to fix anything.  I mean, one clue that they are not really serious about change is that Dan Rather will be refocusing his time on 60 Minutes, the very forum that caused many of his most recent troubles in the first place.

Anyway, who should replace Dan?  My gut feel is that they will choose some stiff who has put in his time for decades at CBS, but I don't think that will do much to improve ratings.  What would?  How about these suggestions:

Improve ratings approach #1:  Finally get rid of the pretense that anchors are journalists rather than pretty talking heads.  Hire Nicollette Sheridan, or maybe Terri Hatcher.  Or, if you feel CBS News deserves more gravitas, in the Murrow tradition, how about Meryl Streep?

Improve ratings approach #2:  Go with comedy.  Bring in David Letterman from the Late Show to anchor the evening news.  "Tonight, we start with the growing UN oil for food scandal.  Uma - Anann.  Anann - Uma."  Or, if you want to segment the market differently, how about Tim Allen and the CBS News for Guys.  Or, if CBS wants to keep hitting the older demographic - what about Chevy Chase - certainly he already has anchor experience from SNL.

Improving Credibility Choice:  No one in the MSM really has much credibility left after the last election, but there is one man who would bring instant credibility to CBS News -- Bob Costas.  CBS should hire him away from NBC, like they did with Letterman.  Make him the evening news anchor.  Heck, if Bryant Gumbell can make the transition to the news division, certainly Costas can.

Become the acknowledged liberal counterpoint to Fox:  Hire Bill Clinton as anchor.  Nothing would generate more buzz than that hire, and he is at loose ends anyway (and think about all those wonderful business trips away from home...)  If Bill is not available, try James Carville.  I might even have to watch that.

Let the public decide:  Forget making a decision, and just create a new reality show like ESPN's Dream Job to choose the next anchor.  Each week the 12 finalists can be given a new task.  In week one, they have to pick up incriminating evidence about the President at a rodeo.  In week 2, they have to forge a believable set of documents from the early 70's, and survive criticism from about 10,000 bloggers.  They can kick one off the island each week based on the viewers votes.

Leave your own ideas in the comments section!

UPDATE #1

I want to expand on the idea in the comment below.  I think it would be a great idea to just run "best of" news broadcasts when Dan is out, like they did during Carson's frequent nights off late in his tenure.  The interesting part would be to see if anyone noticed.

UPDATE #2

Welcome Carnival of the Vanities.  If your missed our Carnival of the Capitalists posts on reverse auctions and why Priceline really succeeded, see here.  Or just browse around our most recent posts hereAnd, don't forget to vote in the 2004 Weblog Awards!

UPDATE #3

For a more serious handicapping of replacements, check out Rathergate.com and at RatherBiased.

Posted on November 26, 2004 at 03:50 PM | Permalink

Comments

CBS should just recognize that the network evening news as we know it is a dying institution. They should just shut it down and play old Walter Cronkite newscasts. People would probably be more interested in old network news that current network news.

Posted by: Craig | Nov 26, 2004 6:42:36 PM

How about Rush Limbaugh?? There would be an immediate audience of oh maybe 20 million or so...He is informed, professional, experienced and would be a refreshing change from the liberal bias seen everywhere except maybe from the Fox network!!

Posted by: Michael E. Hogelin | Nov 29, 2004 12:16:21 PM

For the life of me I can't remember his name, but the guy on the Early Show.
He's experienced and believable - has a very comfortable on-screen presence.

Posted by: Dale Barber | Nov 30, 2004 8:42:31 AM

I believe that Lester Holt at NBC would be the best choice CBS could possibily make.

Posted by: Richard B. Green | Nov 30, 2004 10:03:51 AM

MATT LAUER!!!

Posted by: Bridgett Gidgett | Nov 30, 2004 12:18:00 PM

Anyone but Matt Lauer. I love Bob Costas. I vote Bob Costas.

Posted by: BridgetB | Dec 1, 2004 1:47:11 PM

I went with the instapundit. They could get the blog watchers....nah!

Posted by: Jeremy | Dec 9, 2004 1:38:25 AM

I would immediately call Tim Russert. News anchors are supposed to bring some credibility to the desk. They must also show us a lighter (friendly) side. These anchors are a part of our daily lives. I believe Dan Rather lost that...perhaps, never had it. Russert will shine in that role, as he does as host of NBC's Meet the Press.

Posted by: Garrick from Atlanta | Dec 9, 2004 8:31:53 AM

I vote for Paul Magers, anchor for KCBS in Los Angeles. He is a great anchor and a class act in every way.

Posted by: JMJ | Dec 13, 2004 3:03:03 PM

Paul Magers formerly of KARE11 Twin Cites is the man!

Posted by: HarpoLarson | Dec 20, 2004 7:02:18 PM

How about someone like Deborah Norville? I hear that she will be looking for a job after Tucker Carlson take her slot up on MSNBC, moving over from CNN's Crossfire.

Posted by: Dave Smith | Jan 12, 2005 2:53:25 PM

I vote Paul Magers, too! EASILY the best anchor I've ever seen...behind Tom Brokaw, of course.

Posted by: Nathan W | Jan 13, 2005 3:47:06 PM

Forget CBS They have become a non-believer for any thing.

Posted by: Earl Anderson | Jan 17, 2005 6:28:08 AM

I feel that John Roberts is the man for the job.
Why go looking for a nobody when John has anchor for Dan more than anyone and he knows his way around the White House. He is right for the job.
Of course he might not want the job and I can't blame him for that. Also he might improve your rateings, CBS could sure use a boost!

Posted by: Daniel Tillman | Jan 17, 2005 12:50:57 PM

I vote for either Katie Couric or Tim Russert. I actually think Russert would be a logical replacement. FORGET NORVILLE!!!

Posted by: romans | Mar 8, 2005 10:20:44 AM

Bob Costas is definetly the best replacement for Rather. He's a professional.

Posted by: jersey | Mar 9, 2005 4:51:30 PM

LESTER HOLT!!!!!!!!!! when was the last time we had a black man anchoring the national news?

Posted by: Cole | Mar 10, 2005 4:58:14 PM

An earlier poster mentioned "The Early Show"; I think that you were thinking of Harry Smith.

Posted by: Ross | Mar 14, 2005 5:57:18 AM

Bob Costas would be a decent pick.

Posted by: Ross | Mar 14, 2005 5:58:51 AM

Please not Katie Couric. Knowing what her colleagues think of her and how fearful they are of offending her, would anyone tell her the truth? She's too busy perfecting her Ms. American Pie image. I'm sorry but even Oprah has suffered her wrath and look what she did to Steven Cojocaru. I'm sorry but Katie needs to re-think her image and not on the news.

Posted by: DeAnne | Mar 14, 2005 9:11:32 PM

I would definitely watch CBS News if Paul Majers was the anchor. I've watched NBC for 20 years but would easily make the switch

Posted by: Anne Kent | Apr 28, 2005 6:55:10 PM

Paul Magers would be a fantastic replacement! I think he would be a huge help in getting younger viewers.

Posted by: Pwolffie | Apr 29, 2005 12:37:37 PM

There's a guy on the horizon of breaking news on the cold case Dan Rather "made his bones" on.
Jake Randall lives in Fort Worth and has broken the cover-up that has lasted since the '64 publication of The Warren Report. He might require some on camera training, but he's a decent writer and a relentless investigative writer. A good editor and savvy producer would be all that would be required. Top money, too, of course. He doesn't work cheap because he doesn't do a cheap job. He's a professional in every sense of the word.

Posted by: Martin Barkley | Apr 23, 2006 11:34:55 AM

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