Katie Couric to Quit NBC This Week
Howie Kurtz reports that Katie Couric will announce her departure from NBC and begin preparation to assume the CBS anchor chair this week.
NBC executives expect Katie Couric to leave the “Today” show and accept an offer from CBS to become the first woman to anchor a network evening newscast on her own, with an announcement of her departure likely as early as this week, according to well-placed sources at both networks and others familiar with the negotiations.
The tentative plan is for a two-step process in which Couric first announces her departure from NBC, which would like to give her a warm send-off after a decade in which she helped make “Today” the top-rated morning program. Meredith Vieira, co-host of ABC’s “The View” and host of the syndicated “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” has been offered the job of replacing Couric and is seriously considering it, some of these sources say.
While I have no doubt Couric is up to the job since, as I noted when this was first rumored, “Couric is attractive and can read—which pretty much sums up the qualifications for the job,” it still strikes me as yet another nail in the coffin of the network newscasts as serious journalism. Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and Bob Schieffer all had long records as serious journalists before taking the anchor chair. Couric is mostly notable for being perky and having nice legs.
Of course, the fact that she’ll have to take a substantial pay cut to take the anchor chair says more about the state of the network news than the turning of the anchor chair over to a non-journalist.
Update: Jacques Steinberg reports that NBC is close to a deal with Vieira for “Today.”