August 31, 2006 in Features

It’s the final shift for Schieffer

From Wire Reports The Spokesman-Review
Associated Press photo

Bob Schieffer
(Full-size photo)

Bob Schieffer will say farewell to viewers of the “CBS Evening News” tonight, but he won’t be doing it alone.

Katie Couric, who assumes the CBS anchor chair on Tuesday, will drop by for Schieffer’s final telecast. (Russ Mitchell fills in on Friday and Monday.)

It’s the end of an 18-month run for Schieffer, who, when he stepped in for the departing Dan Rather, was told it would be a six-week gig.

“It’s been a great adventure for me,” says Schieffer, who will stay on the evening news as a weekly commentator and political analyst, and continue as “Face the Nation” anchor.

“I never thought I would have a chance to do this.”

The CBS newscast remains in third place behind ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s top-rated “Nightly News,” but has narrowed the gap.

“Over these last 18 months, we’ve managed to get ourselves back in the game,” Schieffer says. “We’re now major players again.”

Seeing less of Katie?

Speaking of Katie Couric, no, she hasn’t suddenly lost 20 pounds – it’s just creative marketing.

Thanks to digital airbrushing, Couric appears significantly thinner in the September issue of Watch!, a magazine distributed at CBS stations and on American Airlines flights.

Says Couric, 49: “I liked the first picture better because there’s more of me to love.”

CBS News President Sean McManus says he was “obviously surprised and disappointed when I heard about it,” but jokingly adds: “I’ve asked that three inches in height be added to my official CBS photo.”

Boy, was her face flushed

We may be seeing – or at least hearing – less of Kyra Phillips.

The anchor of CNN’s “Live From …” unwittingly upstaged President Bush‘s speech in New Orleans on Tuesday with on-the-air analysis of her husband (great) and her brother’s marriage (not so great) – all live from a ladies room chat, while her wireless microphone was still on.

She later apologized “for a little bit of an interruption there during the president.”

CMA in their DNA

Brooks & Dunn and Brad Paisley both were nominated for six Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday – with Ronnie Dunn adding a seventh, for the group’s inspirational song “Believe.”

Other multiple nominees included Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood, who had four each. The ceremony airs Nov. 6 on ABC.

That’s one hip mayor

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made a major endorsement: backing Colombian pop star Shakira in the race for video of the year at tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards.

“I think I’m going to have to go with Shakira – those hips don’t lie,” Bloomberg said in a taped spot that aired on MTV’s “Total Request Live,” referring to the title of her smash single.

The birthday bunch

Singer Van Morrison is 61. Actor Richard Gere is 57. Drummer Gina Schock (The Go-Go’s ) is 49. Singer Deborah Gibson is 36. Actor Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour”) is 34. Singer Tamara (Trina and Tamara) is 29.

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