CBS is sending Katie Couric on tour this summer to meet with viewers across the country before she officially begins her position as anchor for the “CBS Evening News” in September.
“It’s an attempt to hear from regular folks on a whole broad range of things that will help us make decisions on how we can better serve our viewers,” executive producer Rome Hartman told the Associated Press.
Couric is already slated to appear July 13 in Denver at affiliate KCNC-TV, and will also be a guest in San Diego. At least four other cities are in the works, though the network is still working on details before announcing them.
“Katie selected Denver as one of the cities she wants to visit,” said KCNC general manager Walt DeHaven. “She intends to meet a diverse cross section of the community in an informal forum so that she can really get to the heart of the community. Katie is interested in gaining an understanding of what Coloradans feel is important, what issues our community faces and how she, as the new CBS Evening News anchor, can help bring significant news stories to television viewers not only in Denver, but nationwide.”
The tour appears reminiscent of the Hillary Clinton “listening tour” around New York state when the then-first lady was considering her run for the U.S. Senate in 2000.
AP notes the meetings will not be filmed and reporters won’t be allowed in to cover them, but citizens are invited to fill out a questionnaire if they’re interested in taking part.
“People are not performing for us,” Hartman said. “This was Katie’s idea to have a really honest, informal dialogue.”
Couric will try to persuade people to give her broadcast a try, as the “CBS Evening News” has continually trailed behind NBC and ABC in the ratings.
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