Monday, May 5, 2008

Katie Couric's Poor Performance Review

Have you seen the scuttlebutt?

A few weeks ago, I began to see news leaks on hard core news sites and by news, I mean gossip, that Katie Couric was being released from her contract. WHAT?

I am not here to recap her career, I wasn't really a fan except that someone deemed "cute" was making the big bucks on a morning show. A little morning show called the "Today Show". When she left, the offer on the table at the "Today Show" was $20mm and the offer for CBS Evening News was $15mm. Even with the lower salary, she was the highest paid anchor. Imagine that! So, in theory, she was probably a top performer (by mainstream corporate standards) solidified by her ratings and her overall audience appeal. Nice legs!

Now with her ratings in the tanker and rumors that she is being let go, I can only imagine the conversation...

Head Honcho: Katie, you know we felt strongly in bringing you aboard to replace Dan Rather.

Katie: Yes Mr. Cheese and I believe we are building our base as we speak, hitting new markets and opening doors for women to believe they are empowered to achieve top ranking positions in male dominated fields.

Head Honcho: Yes, Katie, that is all well and good but our ad revenues our down and we are unable to justify your salary with the current ratings in the tanker. I am afraid...

Katie: But WAIT! There's MORE! I am a BRAND and people identify with me. Perhaps we need to change my wardrobe or present a softer side. Moderate changes may help to connect me to our core audience.

Head Honcho: Katie, it's not working. We are letting you out of your contract. We will draft a statement to the press that says you have decided to pursue other opportunities. Or we could say that you have been assigned to special projects. Let us know what you choose. Boxes are already in your corner office suite. We wish you the best of luck.

So, in my everyday average moments of insecurity. When I wonder if I am good enough or smart enough or will I be the best at something, I will think of Katie...and wonder which scenario it really is...

1) Everyone is and can be the best at something. Find it, work for it and you will be rewarded handsomely.
2) Every dog has his day.

Even the best can have an off day or take a risk to do something different and not succeed. For the most part, I believe the latter for her and the very public decision to move to the evening news is coming back around in the serious and not-so-serious news media outlets. She has to go through this poor performance review in front of everyone. How will she handle it? Will she take it in stride and move on to the next great chapter or will we find her covering Hollywood on TMZ.

My guess is the next great chapter...because the best bounce back from taking risks that don't pan out and find the next great adventure in their career.

~ Cheerleader Mama

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