Is Katie Couric bound for daytime TV?
With her contract expiring in early June, Katie Couric is now fielding offers from other networks besides CBS and weighing new options, including a possible daytime talk show that could help fill the void left by Oprah Winfrey.
According to a source familiar with Couric's plans, the evening-news anchor has been courted by NBC Universal and Time Warner, as well as CBS, to discuss the possibility of a syndicated talk show, which could involve her friend and former NBC boss Jeff Zucker. (Time Warner is the parent of CNN; NBC Universal owns MSNBC.) If Couric decided to go the talk-show route, her program could premiere in the fall of 2012, preventing her from covering the next election for CBS News. A production deal would be part of any arrangement she makes.
CNN and NBC did not respond to requests for comment.
Couric is also searching for ways to expand her presence online. In addition to keeping accounts on Facebook and Twitter, she already anchors an online-only interview show @KatieCouric and writes a column for "Glamour."
CBS declined to comment, but during a recent address at the University of Texas, CBS Corp. chief Les Moonves suggested that if Couric stayed on with CBS News, she would have to take a pay cut. "The Katie Couric deal will be the last big deal of that kind ever done," he said, blaming loss of revenue. "Those days are over."
Couric's spokesman Matthew Hiltzik declined to comment, except to say, "Katie is grateful for the interest, but she hasn't yet made any decisions about her future."
-- Melissa Maerz
Photo: Katie Couric. Credit: Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images