10/11/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Les Moonves Defends Katie Couric: "She's Great...I Was Extremely Proud" During Conventions

CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves said he is "proud" of the performance of Katie Couric at the conventions and reiterated his inclination to give the third-place newscast as much time as it takes to build its ratings.

"I'm a patient man," he told B&C this week. "And no one has a gun to their head."

CBS News was a consistent third behind NBC and ABC during coverage of the political conventions, although some nights it was very close to overtaking ABC.

"We all wish the ratings were better," Moonves acknowledged. "I think the conventions accentuated what a phenomenal talent she is. She is great on her feet. She is a great interviewer. She's great at passing the ball around. I think she did an extraordinary job, and I was extremely proud of her and our entire CBS News team during the conventions. I think we showed how good we were. I really do. Ratings notwithstanding, we're doing a terrific job."

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