Why keep her around? Because, the Post story says, by enticing her to stay with a spot on TV’s oldest and most-prestigious prime-time news program, CBS would then be in position to develop a syndicated daytime talk show for her.
Every story about the pending expiration (in June) of Couric’s CBS News contract has her talking to all the top media companies about a potentially lucrative daytime show. And CBS is in the market for a new syndicated talk show now that “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is closing up shop in May. CBS has shared (with Winfrey) in the revenue produced by Oprah’s show ever since CBS bought her long-time syndicator, King World, in 2007.
By working on “60 Minutes,” the thinking goes, Couric would be able to develop her talk show while also working on the news magazine – which means she wouldn’t have to disappear from the airwaves until the fall 2012 start of her daytime show.
If she were to continue as anchor of “The CBS Evening News” under some new contract, it’s doubtful she’d have time to work with producers to develop a daytime show. Nor would hosting a daytime show and anchoring an evening newscast be compatible. As it happens, the Post story and other recent reports say the new leadership team at CBS News, headed by a new president, Jeff Fager, isn’t keen on having Couric continue in the anchor role anyway. (They’re reportedly eyeing CBS News vet Scott Pelley – now seen on “60 Minutes” – for the anchor chair.)
Stay tuned – this Katie Couric contract saga is far from over.