Bob Schieffer

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

When I saw that the 2008 rate for a speech by Larry Summers was $45,000 to $135,000, I got to thinking.

Out of curiosity, I started prowling the various Web sites of speakers' bureaus and came to six conclusions:

  1. It seems everybody in the world is available for speeches. Included are political and show business stars, second and third bananas, and hundreds upon hundreds of people I never heard of.
  2. All of these people—luminaries and nobodies—get fees from $1,000 to $1 million, plus expenses.
  3. I used to make a lot of speeches, and all I ever got was expenses and a plaque with my name engraved on it.
  4. I was a damned fool. I was as much a nobody as anybody else and could've picked up some dough if I'd just asked.
  5. If someone invites you to make a speech, think about asking for an honorarium at the very least, if not a fat fee, plus expenses. For Colin Powell, expenses include a private jet along with his $100,000 fee.
  6. The worst that can happen is that no money in the budget exists for fees or expenses. If you refuse, someone will replace you.

On June 6, 2006, I devoted these pages to the tectonic change in the CBS Evening News. The piece was titled “WOMEN TAKE OVER AT LAST! With Couric and Logan on Board at CBS, Maybe the Evening News Will Come Alive.” With CBS paying Couric $15 million a year and spending $2.9 million for a new set, I had high hopes that she and her electric, articulate chief foreign correspondent, Lara Logan, would bury their tedious male competitors. Alas, a year later the program is moribund, with lower ratings than those garnered by temporary anchor Bob Schieffer. In a fascinating 6,300-word analysis of Couric—including

For the last 50 years television news has been the same—men, men, men. From 1949 to 1956 we were treated to the “Camel News Caravan”—a 15-minute news summary hosted by John (“I’m glad we could get together”) Cameron Swayze, who always had an ashtray on his desk and a sign with the sponsor’s logo. This was followed by 15 minutes of Perry Como or Pinkey Lee. Swayze was ousted in October 1956 to make room for the Huntley-Brinkley Report (“Goodnight, Chet; Goodnight, David. And goodnight from NBC News”). These days, the news on the three networks is a tedious and interchangeable compendium of all the

Just look at ABC and CBS Nov. 22, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 50 IN THE NEWS NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams Pulls Ahead; Widens the Gap Over ABC TO 1.4 Million Viewers NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams had a big ratings win last week, topping ABC's "World News Tonight" by a 16% or +1.390 million viewers - representing the program's best advantage over ABC since the week of the Brokaw/Williams anchor transition (Nov. 29, 2004). --Matt Drudge, The Drudge Report, Nov. 17, 2005 I don't watch one evening news program on television. Rather, I use the remote

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