Katie couric who is she dating
In one representative anecdote, CBS News Executive Vice President Paul Friedman publicly muses on an open audio line about which female anchor looks worse without makeup—Sawyer or Couric.“I was blown back in my chair,” a female producer tells Weller.“What did it say about a man in senior management that he didn’t know he shouldn’t say that, of his boss [Katie], out loud?”The expansive book, which runs to 471 pages sans index (the section that will undoubtedly be the most closely read by folks in the biz), won’t be officially on sale until its Sept. But Weller and her publisher, Penguin Press, have been working overtime to generate buzz—along with a fair amount of teeth-gnashing—by posting items on Facebook and distributing early copies to favored media outlets, including The Daily Beast.Some highlights:*When Sawyer was up for a job at CBS News’ Washington bureau after years in the press office at the Nixon White House and then helping the disgraced former president with his memoirs in San Clemente, Dan Rather advised CBS News President Bill Small: “Don’t hire her!Sources at ABC News, speaking on behalf of Sawyer, sought to dismiss the book’s portrayal as overwrought and occasionally wrongheaded—especially Weller’s detailed reporting about the increasingly tense relationship between Sawyer and ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood, who started out years ago as her intern and acolyte, according to Weller, but ended up as her less than enthralled, occasionally impatient boss.“These claims are just too ridiculous to even consider,” said a self-identified “friend of Diane’s,” pointing out that last week the 68-year-old Sawyer, who as of Sept.2 is vacating the ABC World News anchor chair in favor of David Muir, cohosted a farewell party for Sherwood, who is relocating from New York to Los Angeles to assume his new, network-wide duties.
News executives and network publicists have been distracting themselves from this summer’s seriously depressing or otherwise alarming world events by passing around and poring over bound galleys of The News Sorority, veteran journalist Sheila Weller’s gossipy chronicle of the rise (and occasional stumbles) of three of television news’ best-known women.
“In the summer of 2009 Charlie had lost his momentum and Diane moved in for the kill…Charlie told people that he was called into David’s [Westin’s] office and told, ‘You’re out.’”*In early 2010, as CBS News was facing massive layoffs, and prominent talents like Lesley Stahl were being asked to take pay cuts, Couric, who was famously making million a year, gave a breezy interview to Harper’s Bazaar boasting about her great legs, illustrated with a glamorous movie star photo.
Weller writes: “Irrational though it might have been, it felt like Katie was rubbing in her privilege while so many women saw themselves, or their friends, cleaning their desks and saying goodbye.”*Amanpour was angry when, despite putting her life on the line repeatedly to cover wars for CNN, network execs declined to give her a show on CNN’s all-important U. outlet, instead giving a program to Fareed Zakaria, an academic and magazine editor who had never faced danger under fire. Execs told her she needed to brush up on her analytical skills—something Zakaria had in abundance.
’…”*When 60 Minutes impresario Don Hewitt hired Sawyer for a plum perch on his top-rated Sunday show, a prominent CBS producer explained her rapid rise this way: “You gotta understand—the guys who own and run the networks all have the shiksa disease.”*When Sam Donaldson, Diane’s internally popular co-anchor on ABC’s Primetime magazine show, returned from prostate cancer surgery and did a physically grueling story about a survivalist living in the wilderness, one of Weller’s ABC News sources says, “Diane called everybody and said, ‘That was a really terrible piece—let’s make sure it doesn’t happen again.’”*Sawyer’s famous rivalry with Barbara Walters for ratings-grabbing interview subjects was akin to mortal combat.
“Barbara and Diane were determined to kill each other—to wipe each other off the face of the earth,” says an ABC News staffer.*After toiling at NBC Nightly News and leaving to write a novel when he didn’t get the executive producer’s job, Ben Sherwood angled to run Good Morning America, where Sawyer was the lead anchor in the early 2000s.
“But now he wasn’t beholden to Diane,” says a Sherwood pal. She might have met her match in Ben.”*Couric and Sawyer competed relentlessly for “gets” both when they hosted rival morning shows—Couric at NBC’s Today—but with radically different approaches.