Monday, July 09, 2007

Howard Stern vs. Katie Couric

When Katie Couric announced that she would officially become the evening news anchor (the first woman ever.............) for the CBS Evening News my first thought was why would someone with her star power join a sinking ship? So today's radio news (KSTP AM 1500) confirmed my thinking since it was reported that Ms. Couric recently stated that "had she known what she knows today she would not have taken the job.........." I am paraphrasing a bit here but you get her point.

Perhaps Ms. Couric should have been reading the market trends that are available to all of us commoners which show that the broadcast TV stations (CBS, NBC, ABC) continue to lose viewership to cable channels and the wide range of Internet-based options. So let's do a quick comparison of the contracts that the ever-perky Katie Couric and shock jock Howard Stern signed when they left their respective media jobs for their new gigs:

1.) Katie Couric - left NBC's Today (morning show) to host CBS Evening News
"Buzz on Couric's CBS contract says it's worth $39 million over three years. That would be on par with her 4 1/2-year, estimated $65 million deal with NBC."

2) Howard Stern - left Viacom radio to host his show on subscription-based service Sirius Radio
"signed a five-year, $500 million deal with Sirius Satellite Radio,"

So Couric receives about $13 million per year while Stern receives $100 per year.

The difference -- beyond the "shock value" of course -- I believe is that Stern was smart enough to join a new form of media (subscription-based radio) versus a sinking ship like the "CBS Evening News" -- seriously with soccer games for kids scheduled every night and 1 hour commutes home from work which parents do you know watch the CBS Evening News even it they have TiVo/DVRs ?

Perhaps Ms. Couric should have tried to sign a contract with a new media service like You Tube which would have helped both parties "attract eyeballs" in today's online world.

Nothing better than a dynamic market,



jdsqrd said...

But if Sirius and XM go belly up (I have both services) Howard will be without a venue. Both services have been sinking because of bloated exclusive contracts with MLB, football conferences, and crap like Stern.

Todd said...

Some more information to consider as readers consider the media market for Couric and Stern comes to us via a quick Google search which shows --

"Katie Couric" -- yields 2,750,000 results


"Howard Stern" -- yields 2,280,000 results

So in the online world Couric beats Stern for search results on Google which is a pretty good measure of "Internet presence and marketability............" from my perspective.

As for whether or not XM/Sirius goes bankrupt what does it matter? It would be a consumer market decision that puts them under which is exactly what makes our economy dynamic. In fact Howard Stern could take his $500 million contract earnings minus taxes of course to create his own media company and/or purchase a promising website thus creating yet another online media option for consumers tired of watching the CBS Evening News :-)