"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

RATHER REPLACEMENT PREDICTION

APPOINTMENTS OFTEN SURPRISE. WHOODA THUNK THAT CHERTOFF WOULDA BEEN PICKED FOR DHS? NO ONE.

In that spirit, I predict that Moonves will select LESLEY STAHL to replace Dan Rather.

She has a more impressive CV than John Roberts or Scott Pelli (the two most often cited as potential Rather replacements by the Old Media), and she has more gravitas, and a higher Q rating (more of the public knows who she is). PLUS: she's a woman - which will help CBS create some product differentiation without subverting the product or the brand (since she is a respected reporter/moderator/host and an old CBS hand).

DOWNSIDE: She's older than Roberts and Pelli; (she was born in 1941). BUT - (IMHO) - the younger male wannabes - Roberts and Pelli - would NOT NECESSARILY attract a younger demographic; no anchor will (unless Moonves selects Carson Daly or Howard Stern!). She's young enough to anchor for the next 5-10 years - and that's EONS in the media game! So I say, Moonves will let the kid Brian Williams scramble for the relatively small youngish demographic (which barely watches TV news, anyhow), and try to "OUT-GRAVITAS" both NBC, AND the soon-to-be Jenning-less ABC, by going with the experienced, trustworthy and well-known Stahl.

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