The media circus surrounding Katie Couric’s future continues with the sort of fascination that in four and a half years, her evening news broadcast was rarely able to garner
With her CBS contract set to expire in early June, the likelihood of her staying in the network’s anchor chair is growing less likely by the day. As CBS News chief Jeff Fager is actively looking for replacements inside and out of the company (Russ Mitchell, Scott Pelley and Harry Smith are said to be in consideration), Couric is believed to have narrowed down her choice for a home to her syndicated talk-show to either NBC or CBS, a source familiar with her plans tells The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to providing additional platforms once her show begins, both companies allow Couric the opportunity to stay on the air in some capacity between her evening news sign-off in spring 2011 and her daytime premiere in the fall 2012. CBS offers her options on CBS Sunday Morning as well as 60 Minutes; while NBC offers the cable news network MSNBC, the Today show and specials like the Olympics.
Looking to further diversify, Couric is also believed to be eyeing both a production company and a content deal with one of the major Web portals. According to one source, both AOL and Yahoo have expressed interest in partnering with Couric, a move that speaks to the growing need for these sites to differentiate themselves with original, premium content in an increasingly fractured environment where outlets like Facebook and Twitter compete for users’ time. Staying active online is similarly important to Couric, who has garnered attention in recent years by interviewing everyone from Fox News personality Glenn Beck to tween heartthrob Justin Bieber for her Web show, @KatieCouric.
Couric began helming the CBS Evening News in 2006, and has been in third place behind Brian Williams at NBC Nightly News and Diane Sawyer and ABC World News.
A CBS News spokesperson told the AP: “We’re having ongoing discussions with Katie Couric. We have no announcements to make at this time. Until we do, we will continue to decline comment on rumor or speculation.”
Added Matthew Hiltzik, Couric’s spokesman: “Ditto.”
THR first reported on March 9 that Couric was considering a syndicated daytime show, and was considering collaborating with Jeff Zucker, whom she worked with on Today.
In an interview with David Letterman last month, Couric admitted she may not continue to anchor the news once her contract ends in June.
“I’m figuring out what I want to do,” Couric said. “I’m in the process of figuring it out.”