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Lots of options for Katie Couric at CNN if that's what she wants

Although she still has almost a year to go on her contract, speculation is starting to heat up on whether Katie Couric will remain with CBS as anchor of its evening newscast or move elsewhere in 2011.

There has always been talk that Couric was a likely replacement for Larry King at CNN once he stepped down from his hourlong chat show. However, with British talk-show host Piers Morgan expected to take that job, that window may be closing on Couric, per the New York Times.

COURIC But just because King's 9 p.m. ET show may go to someone else doesn't mean that there aren't other openings for Couric at the cable news channel if that's what she wants. CNN is struggling in just about every evening hour and would gladly plug Couric in anywhere to try to stop the bleeding.

Even if Couric had her heart set on CNN's 9 p.m. slot, odds are the network would find a way to make that happen. It's not as though Morgan is some established brand that can't be moved.

The real question is whether Couric would want to go to CNN. Although she has not had the smoothest of rides since leaving NBC's "Today" show to take over as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," she still gets a bigger audience than most cable news programs. It remains to be seen if she would view moving to cable as a step backward.

If Couric does want off CBS' signature newscast, her broadcast options are pretty limited. Both ABC and NBC are set with their anchors -- Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams, respectively -- and a return to morning, while easily doable on CBS, would also seem unlikely at NBC or ABC.

That leaves syndication. In terms of a payday, an afternoon talk show featuring Couric would likely be an easy sell to television stations. The risk is to Couric's image. She has always walked a fine line between serious newscaster and celebrity figure. A daytime talk show may lower her stature as a journalist, and you can't put a price tag on that.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: CBS' Katie Couric speaks at the Time/Fortune/CNN Global Forum in June. Credit: Michelly Rall / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (14)

Maybe I'm missing somebody, but I don't believe any broadcast network news anchor has ever had a hit show on cable tv. Plenty, however, have failed: Brian Williams, Connie Chung, Paula Zahn, Campbell Brown, Aaron Brown.

For those who don't remember Williams' failure, it's probably because you weren't watching: When they were grooming him to take over for Brokaw, Williams had a straight news show on cnbc that was very similar to the show he does now on nbc -- and the show got terrible ratings. He failed to build an audience.

The myth of network TV news is that network shows "attract" an audience. They do not; they "inherit" an audience, an audience of people already watching the affiliates. Williams inherited the Brokaw audience; he didn't build anything.

Cable is tougher: you have to build an audience of your own. Maybe Katie can do it, but she's never done it before. She did not "build" the Today Show, or "CBS Evening News." Just saying.

"she still gets a bigger audience than most cable news programs."

Such a misleading statement. An informercial on broadcast tv gets a bigger audience than most cable shows simply due to the fact it's on broadcast (free) tv.

Cable and tv are like two different worlds in terms of viewers.

She would be a perfect fit for CNN--YUK!

That's where she belongs!

Couric is as exicting as watching paint dry.

An afternoon talk show featuring Couric would be an easy sell and could risk her image as a serious journalist, but look at what it did for Oprah. Couric, depending on how she wants to brand herself, could be successful in either role, but I think much of her appeal comes from her quick witted banter combined with the credibility of a journalist. Viewers enjoy her humor, her genuine nature and her ability to interview anyone from a poet to a politician. A talk show may be the logical next step for her. Either way, I wish her well. She continues to stand the test of time in an often unforgiving industry.

Couric is dammaged goods and should team up with Springer as hostess,in charge of introducing the distinguished guests.Once a week she and Springer
could hold a Palin bashing session...hey not any different than beeing on CNN.

Who needs Couric ?She missed the boat when the film producer refused to even consider the possibility of casting her as a guest in dinner for shmucks.

She made her name by being light and fun. Then she went to "news".
Her transition to "real journalism" is a case study the wrong person in the wrong job. Somewhere along the line Katie lost her charm her effortlessness. Instead what we got was stern Katie, serious Katie, etc. Ugh.
Going to CNN is not a great move for her. A syndicated daytime talk show would be the way to go. If that light and fun Katie still exists.

Couric is toast when it comes to the news game, her ratings have been in the toilet ever since she went to CBS! A solid last place in the ratings!

Katie Couric is as Liberal as they come. She's a perfect for CNN (Communist Network News). CNN wonders why they lag in the ratings. ;-)

Who cares where she goes just as long as she just goes away! uuuugggghhhh!

The author of this article obviously knows little about syndication. I launched the Oprah Winfrey show while at King World, so I know a little something about selling shows to stations. FYI, Katie would be no easy sell...make no mistake about it. Her audience skews old. She took very little of her Today Show viewers with her. She has done nothing to impress station managers since anchoring the CBS Evening News. And, she tends to lean left on her political coverage...something that tends to turn off viewers in syndication. So, I think she has limited life left in syndication.

Couric really sucks.It is inconceivable that such a big ego with so little talent
continues to pollute the air waves.They say Robert Gibbs is on the way out,
Couric might very well be the ideal replacement for him.


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