Katie Couric’s Gender Bias: Female Correspondents Getting 40 Percent Less Airtime

October 23rd, 2006 2:31 PM

So much for sisterhood. Broadcasting & Cable reported Monday that female correspondents aren’t getting as much work on the CBS Evening News since Katie Couric became the anchor six weeks ago (hat tip to Drudge, emphasis mine throughout): “[S]ince Couric’s arrival, women have received 40% fewer assignments than they did under her predecessor, Bob Schieffer. Men, meanwhile, have seen no cutback in their workload.”

The article comically continued:

Under Schieffer, stories filed by women averaged 5.8 minutes each night; under Couric, that average has dropped to 3.0 (the average for men is the same, at 10.1 minutes). Medical correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin has been replaced by Jon LaPook. Sharyn Alfonsi, Schieffer’s fifth-most-heavily-used correspondent, has fallen to No. 14 under Couric. Trish Regan fell from No. 11 to No. 21; Elizabeth Palmer, from No. 16 to No. 27.

Among CBS’ women, only foreign correspondent Lara Logan and, in this political season, Sharyl Attkisson on Capitol Hill have maintained their rankings.

Couric has favored national correspondent Byron Pitts, award-winning soft-feature reporter Steve Hartman (on track to become Couric’s Charles Kuralt) and investigative reporter Armen Keteyian. Three major beats remain filled by men —White House (Jim Axelrod), the Pentagon (David Martin) and the economy (Anthony Mason)—as they were under Schieffer.

And comically concluded: “Couric has risen to the top network news spot. But so far, it seems, her rising tide has not lifted her sisters’ boats.”

I’m verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.