Wednesday, August 30, 2006

CBS News Promotion Turns Odd, Uses Odds To Tout Couric

Tom Siebert MediaPost

IN WHAT CAN ONLY BE described as an odd turn of events, venerable CBS News has turned to an online odds-maker to help tout incoming evening news anchor Katie Couric.
In fact, now viewers can literally gamble on Couric's debut as anchor of the "CBS Evening News." On Tuesday, CBS News' publicity department circulated releases alerting the press that Costa Rica-based online gambling site is offering betting lines on how many viewers "CBS Evening News" will watch Couric's first day.

Odds range from 12-to-1 that she'll draw less than amiable placeholder Bob Schieffer's lowest summertime ratings, about 6.5 million, to 3.75-to-1 that she'll top 8.5 million on opening night.
So far, betting has been sporadic, says BetCRIS CEO Mickey Richardson, who also thinks the numbers need "tweaking.

It seems every night now I turn on the TV and have got to hear about it--and not only on CBS."
CBS, long a third-place finisher in the evening-news race, averaged 7.07 million nightly viewers the week of August 21, and has been averaging roughly between 6.5 million and 7 million viewers a night throughout the summer.

The spin comes as CBS News was exposed for another questionable publicity move: releasing digitally altered press photos depicting a virtually slimmer version of Couric.

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