09/26/2007 AT 03:00 PM EDT
Among the viewers that the third-place CBS Evening News
with Katie Couric can't necessarily count on are the anchor's own two daughters, Ellie and Carrie – who've set their sights elsewhere.
"They watch The O.C.
," says their mother, 50. "They're very excited about Gossip Girl
. I don't think they pay a lot of attention to the news right now. They're 16 and 11."
Speaking Tuesday at Washington, D.C.'s National Press Club to veteran journalist and scholar Marvin Kalb (for his Kalb Report
radio show), Couric said of her daughters: "They do watch my broadcast occasionally. I give them a pop quiz when I come home for dinner."
Offering her own theory for why her news broadcast is losing the ratings race, Couric suggested that the sometimes-frivolous segments she did in her previous Today
show job "probably gave people the impression that I wasn't a serious person. So suddenly when I was put in a format where it was [not] personality-driven at all, I think it was a bit of an adjustment for people."
She added, "They're like, 'What happened to her? She used to be fun and say funny things.' It was just a very different world for me. I think it is taking people a while to get their heads around that."
And though her ratings have received wide press coverage, she says, "Frankly, I have never been obsessed with ratings. I probably should be more than I am. Clearly, I would like more people to watch. But more than 6 million people are watching every night. That's an extraordinarily high number. I feel really honored that that many people are entrusting us to give them their news."
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