September 28, 2020

Media Decoder: Couric Confirms Departure From CBS

3:43 p.m. | Updated | In a profile posted Tuesday on the Web site for People Magazine, Katie Couric confirms what has been widely reported for weeks: that she will leave her job as the anchor of the CBS Evening News.

“In making the decision to move on, I know the Evening News will be in great hands, but I am excited about the future,” she told the magazine. Her five-year contract ends in June.

CBS issued a terse statement Tuesday afternoon that said, “There’s a lot to be proud of during Katie Couric’s time at Evening News. CBS News, like Katie herself, is looking forward to the next chapter.”

CBS is expected to name Scott Pelley the new anchor of the “CBS Evening News” next week.

The profile in People does not include details about Ms. Couric’s future plans, but they too have been the subject of considerable informed comment in recent months. Several people close to Ms. Couric have confirmed that she intends to accept an offer to start up a daily syndicated talk show, most likely to start in the fall of 2012.

Those plans seem to be shifting away from either CBS or NBC and toward a suitor that had been earlier been considered a dark horse: ABC.

A deal for a syndicated show is expected be accompanied by regular work for a network news organization, which is why only CBS, NBC, and ABC have been among the serious suitors to land the syndicated show. The syndication divisions of all three networks have held negotiations with Ms. Couric and her representatives and for some time the speculation centered on her remaining at CBS, with a part-time role on that network’s newsmagazine “60 Minutes.”

NBC was also known to be bidding to land the show, which potentially could have included that network’s most valuable news employee, Matt Lauer, the anchor of the “Today” show.

ABC had been on the fringes of the talks earlier. But circumstances have changed in recent days, according to representatives of Ms. Couric. The Web site of TV Guide Magazine reported Tuesday that CBS sources predicted she would now land at ABC.

One representative of Ms. Couric said Tuesday that no deal has been agreed to with any network but acknowledged a shift toward ABC, saying, “ABC is a contender.”

CBS, meanwhile, seems to be trying to distance itself from the situation in case Ms. Couric moves in a different direction. One of Ms. Couric’s friends said that CBS was beginning to be concerned that despite what that network considers a very strong offer, she might decide on one of the other possibilities offered to her.

ABC would have the advantage of having owned the local-station home of Oprah Winfrey during her long run in syndication. Ms. Winfrey’s coming departure has seemingly opened the way for Ms. Couric and other hosts to mount talk shows.

ABC News also could provide Ms. Couric with access to its newsgathering sources as well as programs on which she could appear, like “20/20” and “Nightline.”

At the same time, interest in concluding a deal with NBC, her former home when she was host of “Today,” has waned, according to the representative of Ms. Couric, who said “They are not a front-runner.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=a2aefd87926aecd8a6afef1f9b205e58

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