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According to Katie Couric, Americans are hungry for more network news — 200 percent more. After speaking off the record with citizens in six cities this summer, Couric reported that everyone also felt strongly that she be able to expense air travel to events she wishes to attend. And, according to Couric, viewers think three or four days a week is plenty for news. And they don’t want her to feel too constrained by “news,” either. They want her to feel free to talk about whatever she wants, and if she doesn’t feel comfortable talking about “News,” then she should go with her gut.

Network executives weren’t surprised at all by the viewers’ suggestions — especially the request for one full hour of network news. One executive cited the massive and growing numbers of Americans who regularly tune in each night to watch their favorite anchor give them the news highlights of the day on one of the three major TV news networks. “TV is definitely gaining popularity, and with Katie, we’re way out ahead of the curve,” said one executive who spoke on the sole condition that she not be identified as the incoming host of CBS’s evening newscast.

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