Katie Couric’s debut

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Here’s the prediction . . .

“People are going to be watching [Couric] with a critical eye,” Schano said. “They are going to watch and say, ‘Oh, what about her makeup. Hmmm, do you like that haircut? Did anyone comment on Charlie Gibson’s hair or the color of his tie?”

And here’s how it played out . . . (in addition to these gems, I heard an Air America caller yesterday morning complain that she wore too much makeup and is making too much money — also, from spending some time on the Internet this morning, I can report that coverage of the newscast is heavily tilted toward mentioning the ending piece in which she showed a picture of Tom Cruise’s new daughter, as if that were the sum total of the show):

Tom Shales of Washington Post:

Couric, who began the newscast standing up and promoting what was to come, oddly wore a white blazer over a black top and skirt, the blazer buttoned in such a way as to make her look chubby, bursting at the button, which we know she isn’t. It was a poor choice, but the lavish newsroom set built as Couric’s display case was handsome indeed, gleaming and shiny, with Couric seated eventually at a huge semicircular desk and looking comfortably at home.

Tom Gliatto of People Magazine:

And Couric was sometimes undercut by production values: As she read the news, her blonde hair was often framed from behind by a world map mounted on panel roughly the color of orange sherbet. Well, this bleached her out. She also tended to keep her chin tilted down with the light emphasizing her eyes. Well, this made her look like Maria Shriver.

Guardian Unlimited-UK:

With CBS news trailing in third place to its rivals ABC world news and NBC nightly news, the network is taking no chances. Unbeknown to her, it digitally altered her picture in one of its publications to make her appear 20lbs lighter.

I have to go to class now, where I’ll be sporting a red pantsuit, black leather choker with pearl accents, and mother-of-pearl drop earrings that I bought in Turkey. Oh, I hope, I hope, I hope the students don’t forget to mention it in my course evaluations.

–Tracy McGaugh

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