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.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Brian says:

    In this day and age, it is very difficult to find somebody without “fluff” on his or her transcript. Couric may be best known for her lighter news pieces, but she is a good interviewer and competent news reader. Given the chance to do real news all the time, she might excel. Then again, she might not. But she deserves a chance. Maybe she’ll surprise us.

  2. Mark says:

    Is she gonna have to sit behind a desk? That would hide her legs – really the only reason to watch her anyway…(so I am a leg man, sue me!)

  3. Herb says:

    NBS’s loss will now become CBS’s loss.

  4. Terry says:

    Couric is a fricking hack … has been since day one.

    But what passes for “journalism” these days, she’s just perfect.

    These people serve the citizens about as well as the house, the senate, the courts or the executive branches of government.

    America has turned into a system of, by and for the rich, and we’re all getting taken.