Katie: The Great Divider

What Everyone Is Talking About

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Breaking news ... Katie Couric's image divides a nation. A poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press showed opinions about the incoming "CBS Evening News" anchor differ between women and men, Republicans and Democrats. (Watercooler would have liked to have seen what the breakdown was between "morning people" and "night owls," but Pew didn't ask about that.)
Katie Couric
Katie Couric Credit: CBS

Women like her; men, not so much. Nearly half of female respondents described her favorably, and only 13% gave a negative response. Fewer men (31%), on the other hand, offered favorable descriptions and 16% offered negative ones.

Then there is also a political divide when it comes to Couric's image. Moderate and liberal Republicans like her the most -- 55% offered positive descriptions of her. Democrats are slightly less positive. But 30% of those identifying themselves as conservative Republicans viewed her negatively.

Unlike the divisive Couric, evening news anchors Brian Williams of NBC and Charlie Gibson of ABC don't evoke such opinion splits. According to the study, opinions about the male anchors were separated by neither gender nor politics.

But even before she's uttered her first word as the anchor of "The CBS Evening News," people are already more familiar with her than the other guys. Sixty-six percent of respondents offered up an impression about Couric, while only 49% could share an opinion about Gibson and 47% knew Williams.

But with fame comes critics. Couric received more negatively toned responses than the men; terms such as "dislike" and "biased" were associated with her. Her personality and style were also criticized. Words associated with Couric included "energetic," "bubbly" and "perky"; fewer than five respondents associated these terms with the guys.

Overall, though, all three evening news anchors are seen as adequate. The word most associated with all three? "Good."
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