Katie and Me

She’s America’s Sweetheart.

My parents and my dog seem to like me.

She made history as the first woman to solo anchor an network evening newscast.

I’m the first graduate of Simsbury High School to be on television. Check that. ESPN’s soccer analyst Rob Stone also graduated from SHS.

She gets paid $15M a year.

I’m currently in negotiations with WTAE, but I’m setting my sights a little lower.

So what could I possibly have in common with Katie Couric. More than you might imagine. I know she worked for years at NBC and now at CBS, but she has always been one of my favorite broadcasters and one of my role models in the business along with Bryant Gumbel.

She began her network career 15 years ago, just like myself. While her audience was larger and the pressure on her was greater as she began the “Today” show, we both were novices in our business. Hoping to prove to those around us that we could do the job. She proved to be an adept interviewer and I managed to show some talent as a sportscaster.

This summer, both our lives changed dramatically. You might say we switched roles. After 15 years, I moved from nights to mornings and from sports to news. Katie did almost the reverse. She switched from mornings to evenings and from co-host to solo anchor.

While my move was not heralded in the quite the same manner, there were some similar pressures and doubts among the viewing public. Can he/she do hard news? Will the viewers accept him/her in this new role?

I guess the jury is still out on Katie, but I’m pulling for her to be successful ( as long as she comes in second to “World News Tonight” on ABC ). It might be a small way, but I feel a certain tie – a certain kinship with Katie because in many ways she approaches her life and her job. Just like me, she believes what we do isn’t always about ratings. It’s about helping me people and giving back to the community ( Katie’s emphasis has been on colerectal cancer while I have been active in breast cancer research locally ).

We even have toned down our dress styles to match our new duties. That’s where the comparisons end. I won’t be trying to emulate her in the footwear department.

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