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More About Those Suri Pictures …

(GETTY IMAGES/Kevin Winter)
Of all the fuss kicked up this week by Katie Couric's debut as CBS News anchor, the opening night "scoop" – the first pictures of Suri Cruise, daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes – generated some of the most questions and criticism. I asked Rome Hartman, executive producer for the "Evening News" about how the network secured the pictures. Hartman wouldn't reveal how the broadcast got them, saying only that it was a "Katie get," but he did confirm to me that CBS did not pay for the pictures. As for the criticism of showing the pictures on the "Evening News," Hartman pointed out that it took up 30 seconds and came 20 minutes into the broadcast, adding in an e-mail, "give me a break that that's not a legit thing to put on."

One overlooked part of the pictures is they did not appear anywhere on the CBSNews.com website. The pictures were blacked out of the "Evening News" simulcast and the on-demand version of the broadcast and were not posted anywhere else on the site. The reason, according to Mike Sims, director for News and Operations for CBSNews.com, is that Vanity Fair (which owns the pictures) did not give permission to use them on the Web site. It makes sense – the magazine received a good deal of promotion out of Couric's highly-rated first broadcast and they are in the business of selling magazines so they didn't want the pictures posted on any other Web site but their own.

I'll have more on the new "Evening News" after a few more runs. In the meantime, we want to keep hearing your thoughts on the broadcast so keep on sending those e-mails and making those comments. Update: The Suri pictures did appear on CBSNews.com's Showbuzz/> Thursday afternoon after Vanity Fair granted permission.

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