Suri Cruise Makes Her News Debut, Too
Couric's big "get" for her first newscast was Suri Cruise, or at any rate the first photograph of the 5-month-old daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, taken by celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz for the cover of the upcoming edition of Vanity Fair magazine. The photograph was displayed about two-thirds of the way through the program. TV critics gave the program mixed reviews, with several observing that it was hardly a news program at all. Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post remarked, "The number of full-fledged stories about something that happened yesterday amounted to -- let me count here -- one..." Nevertheless, Kurtz remarked, "I'm sure some will say there wasn't enough news in the "Evening News." And they will have a point. But that's the tradeoff if you're going to do longer, more textured pieces and new features on a half-hour broadcast." MSNBC commentator Michael Ventre remarked, "Note to Katie: It's called the CBS Evening NEWS for a reason." "They should have devoted at least 15 minutes to much harder news," Fordham University media professor Paul Levinson told Reuters. Former ABC newsman Bob Zelnick, currently a journalism professor at Boston University, told the Association Press, "I felt the show, taken as a whole, had too much softness to it." "The real test, of course, lies ahead," wrote USA Today TV critic Robert Bianco. "We'll have to see how well she wears over time, and how well she handles her first crisis. When news breaks, will viewers want to hear it from Couric?"