A Big Night For CBS

Katie Couric, official CBS News photo
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Tonight's the big night at CBS: Katie Couric takes over as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News. She's boldly going where no woman as ever gone before — solo, in one of the most prestigious, and still very important, jobs in the country.

As an old hand around here, I can speak from experience. The hiring of Katie Couric sends a clear message to a number of constituent groups. To the audience, it says CBS is very serious about competing. It also says that the evening time period is not only still viable, it is vitally important. It says CBS not afraid to do something new, and that it's interested in bringing people to the set who perhaps have not been there before.

Katie's coming to CBS also sends an important message to the news division: We have a new leader, a tenacious competitor, a woman who, above all, cares about the news — the real news.

Katie is a smart next step in what has been a proud tradition of journalism. She's the right person at the right time.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith