Following a series of recent town hall meetings across the country, the new Katie Couric-led CBS Evening News will undergo a philosophical shift when she starts on Sept. 5.
Based on the input that Couric and CBS Evening News Executive Producer Rome Hartman received, the newscast will provide more perspective, greater context, and relevancy as it enters a new era, Couric says.
Couric, in her first appearance before the Television Critics Association since being named to the anchor slot, said Sunday that the newscast will "become a little more solution-oriented" and provide more critical thinking.
Meeting in private with groups of viewers across the U.S. over the past week, Couric said that there were complaints by some about the media abdicating its role in objective journalism, contributing to the polarization of the country. "They don't want extreme views," Couric said.
CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus said network newscasts are not biased and also took issue with comments made recently by former ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel and former CBS News anchor Dan Rather that the networks have relinquished their responsibility of reporting foreign news.
"I think that is an absurd thesis," McManus said, citing the coverage and resources the networks are putting into the Middle East crisis. He said that with only 22 minutes per night of news versus 24 hours per day on cable, the broadcast networks have to be more selective about the non-crisis foreign news stories they cover, and he believes they do a "good job."
"I don't think our model is broken," said McManus, saying the networks broadcast to an audience in the tens of millions while the cable news channels are dealing in the hundreds of thousands.