Letterman stunt roils internal waters


According to a report, executives at CBS News were not happy when an internal feed of Katie Couric and John McCain prepping for an interview wound up on “The Late Show with David Letterman” with acerbic commentary provided by Letterman. But they’re saying so off the record. Letterman was incensed at McCain’s last minute cancellation of a visit to “The Late Show” on grounds he was about to hustle to Washington to deal with the Wall Street mess, only to turn up a few blocks away in New York with CBS News. According to the New York Post, CBS News feels that if they had used an internal network feed to break in on Letterman’s taping, heads would have rolled.

RBR/TVBR observation: No matter what the format or medium of a communications company, the people cranking out the content – news, drama, comedy, whatever – can play it as straight down the middle as possible, and put the audience right to sleep and the company right out of business. RBR/TVBR Publisher Jim Carnegie knows this as well as anybody. He’s no doubt spent more time than he cares to remember putting out fires created by us, his loyal writing staff. But if we didn’t start them up every once in a while, chances are you wouldn’t be reading this right now. A certain amount of tension between the creative and business departments is a good thing.