Marion Curtis/Startraks photo
September 05, 2006 07:10 PM

The first woman to fly solo as anchor of a network evening news program delivered her premiere show on Tuesday – and with her for the ride was Suri Cruise, as pictured in the new Vanity Fair.

Katie Couric, the new star of the CBS Evening News, unveiled not only the new face of the network’s newscast – her own – but the public’s very first look at the nearly 5-month-old daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who bears a strong resemblance to her mom.

Previewing the cover shot of the new Vanity Fair magazine, Couric said: “After much speculation as to why she’s been undercover for so long, this is proof positive that, yesiree, she does exist.” No further details about the baby were given, beyond the fact that Annie Liebovitz shot the photos of her.

Suri surfaced 20 minutes into the program, which led with an exclusive report from Afghanistan on the resurgence of the Taliban that continued with an analysis of the situation with New York Times columnist Thomas Freidman (who had been a frequent guest on the Today show, where he was also often interviewed by Couric).

Concurrent with Couric’s debut, CBS became the first network evening newscast to be simulcast live on the Internet. Viewers are now able to watch the Evening News on their computers at the same time or after their local stations air it.

Holmes and Cruise

The program’s new theme music – which features heralding trumpets – is the work of Hollywood composer James Horner, an Oscar winner for his score for Titanic. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal that ran Tuesday, Horner said of Couric that before he accepted the CBS offer, “I’d seen her a few times, but I didn’t know her persona on television at all. When I’ve watched one of the news things over the years, it was usually (late ABC anchor) Peter Jennings.”

The former Today host’s new job positions her to carry on a tradition in the rarefied world of broadcast journalism initially forged for CBS by Edward R. Murrow during World War II and which continued famously throughout the Cold War by Walter Cronkite.

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