Katie Couric will launch a syndicated daytime talk show with ABC in the fall of 2012, it was officially announced Monday.
The deal will give Couric a daily show just as the 2012 elections are entering their final stretch. She will also have a role in ABC News itself, and she will begin this summer “as the ultimate utility player,” ABC News President Ben Sherwood said in a note to staff. Sherwood said Couric “will contribute across all of our broadcasts and online.” In another statement, ABC News said that Couric will “anchor specials, contribute interviews [and] participate in special events coverage.”
Couric will be a co-owner of her syndicated show, something which could see her reap a considerable financial windfall.
The deal ends, for now at least, one of the most protracted and heavily trailed sagas in recent media memory. The news of Couric’s ABC deal was kept just as poorly under wraps as her departure from CBS News. It also ends a bidding war for Couric’s services between CBS, ABC and NBC that sprang up when she signaled that she would step down from her role as the “CBS Evening News” anchor.
Initially, ABC was not even in the running, but the network’s pitch soon overtook those from CBS and NBC. The New York Times reported Monday that NBC found Couric’s demands too onerous, and that she thought that the role CBS wanted her to play was too limited.
Couric told the Times that she was happy with the way things turned out.
“It is very gratifying that so many people were willing to meet with me and were interested,” she said. “It made me think maybe a show like this could do reasonably well. We’ll see.”