The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Katie Couric will likely leave her evening news anchor post at CBS when her contract expires this June. The 54-year-old reportedly makes $13-million dollars per year in the anchor desk. While the rumor-mill has been running since last year that Katie Couric and CBS would be parting ways, the story became news again when David Letterman confronted her directly. He chided her about her rather short stint and counseled her to stay and “ride into the sunset” like her predecessors. Mr. Letterman was referring to Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather; veterans that occupied the chair for decades. Should she leave, Couric will have occupied the chair for five years.
Couric cleverly avoided Letterman’s direct line of questioning if she would stay, and mum’s the word at CBS as well, but she’s been in talks with NBC to potentially host a daytime show. Ms. Couric has been chatting with her old boss, Jeff Zucker, largely blamed for the fall of NBC’s ratings during his tenure there, about returning to daytime. Daytime works so much better for her bright, plucky persona. Viewership at CBS has been down since Couric come on board at the evening news placing CBS behind ABC and NBC in the ratings race. In fact, it’s hardly surprising at all that she would view the anchor job as a downgrade from her success at “Today,” the early morning ratings juggernaut that Ms. Couric helped make a daytime success.
As a replacement for Couric, the spotlight has been circling Scott Pelley. Pelley is a correspondent for CBS’ news magazine, “60 Minutes.” He’s a veteran at the network, having been there for more than 20 years, a sharp contrast to Ms. Couric. Her defection from NBC daytime to the CBS anchor chair caused quite a stir five years ago but her exit seems to be causing no more than a ripple.