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Couric to Get More Face Time

Give us 22 minutes, and we’ll give you a lot of Katie Couric." That seems to be the credo behind planned format changes to the CBS Evening News, which welcomes its new anchor Sept. 5.

According to sources at CBS, Couric will get a lot more camera time than her evening-news counterparts, Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News and Charles Gibson of ABC World News.

Couric’s predecessor, interim anchor Bob Schieffer, often referred to himself as a player-coach, pointedly ceding the spotlight to his correspondents. But plans leaking out of West 57th Street make CBS Evening News With Katie Couric sound like "All Katie, All the Time. "

For each newscast, Couric will introduce the lead story of the day (often with a sidebar), conduct at least one—if not two—newsmaker interviews, and provide voiceovers for two "newsreel" segments.

The anchor will get a rest during the previously announced "Free Speech" segments, in which guest commentators (including Schieffer) sound off on a chosen topic.

But then, says the source, it’s back to Couric, who will tee up a "lighthearted, uplifting" story from one of the correspondents to close out the show.

Sounds like CBS is looking to make the most of its investment. After all, when you shell out $15 million on a new sports car, why keep it in the garage?