Tags: Palin | Couric | Today | GMA

Palin to Couric: 'Game On'

Monday, 02 Apr 2012 11:53 AM

By James Hirsen

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In a stunning turn of events, on Tuesday Katie Couric will take the anchor chair of ABC’s “Good Morning America” in a morning show ratings competition against Sarah Palin, who will guest host on rival NBC’s “Today” show.

The A.M. TV battle places the two public figures as guest hosts in the same time slot and will be the first time that their names appear in the media together since Couric’s infamous interview of then-GOP vice presidential candidate Palin.

Katie Couric and Sarah Palin will battle it out over our morning coffee on Tuesday.
(AP Image)
Couric had been criticized by Palin and fellow conservatives for her line of questioning during the interview, charging that Couric was unfair, biased, and employed “gotcha” tactics. Following the dustup, Palin stated that there would be no further interviews with Couric.

The opportunity to go up against Couric in the TV arena was perhaps a motivating factor for the former Alaska governor. The back-story behind the morning show contest revolves around the major small screen measuring stick of success — television ratings.

ABC announced that the network would bring in Couric for a week-long guest hosting assignment to fill in for vacationing “GMA” host Robin Roberts.

“Serious pressure filling in for the fab @RobinRoberts !” Couric tweeted. “Rise + shine! Excited to be back on morning TV next wk, guest hosting @GMA w/ @GStephanopoulos.”

A ratings war has been raging for decades between NBC’s first place “Today” show and ABC’s second place “Good Morning America” program. The ABC executives had hopes of Couric taking “GMA” to the number one position, since the ABC show, according to the network, is the closest ratings wise that it has been to NBC in five years. There are only 137,000 viewers separating “GMA” from the “Today” show.

However, NBC made the decision to counter Couric's hosting stint on the opposing show with a surprise host of its own, which materialized in the form of Palin.

“She’ll reveal a different side of her than you’ve seen before,” NBC Universal spokeswoman Megan Kopf said of Palin on the “Today” show’s website.

For years Hollywood insiders have talked about the possibility of Palin becoming a daytime television personality. For TV producers, Palin’s performance may be the equivalent of a daytime TV screen test.

As for Palin’s thoughts on her guest hosting duties, the former vice presidential candidate let it be known that she intends to use the show as a platform for her message.

“I see this as a good opportunity to bring an independent, common-sense conservative perspective to NBC. We're 'going rogue' and infiltrating some turf for a day,” Palin told Breitbart News.

When asked specifically about Couric hosting on another network during the exact same time slot, Palin offered a pointed response.

“Game on,” she said.

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.

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