Couric Said to Weigh Move to ABC as CBS News Anchor Job Winds Up

Monday, 25 Apr 2011 03:20 PM

Katie Couric is contemplating a move to ABC as she prepares to end her five-year run as the “CBS Evening News” anchor, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Couric, 54, is expected to announce this week that she will leave the show and hasn’t made a final decision about her future, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The anchor’s contract with CBS ends June 4.

Scott Pelley, a correspondent on “60 Minutes,” will take over for Couric, one of the people said. Prior to joining “60 Minutes,” he was CBS News’ chief White House correspondent.

ABC, part of Walt Disney Co., has made a late run at Couric, said two of the people. The anchor is being advised by Jeff Zucker, former chief executive officer of NBC Universal and previously her producer at NBC’s “Today” show. The anchor and ABC News President Ben Sherwood met at least once for lunch to discuss the move, one person said.

The New York Times reported today that CBS would announce Couric’s departure this week. The newspaper said on April 5 that NBC had offered her a syndicated talk show.

David Ford, an ABC spokesman, declined to comment. Zucker didn’t respond to e-mail requests for comment.

CBS could still strike a deal to keep Couric in a role other than news anchor, said two people with knowledge of the situation. That may include reporting for “60 Minutes” and anchoring a syndicated talk show, according to one person familiar with the matter.


Both NBC and ABC are said to be discussing talk shows with Couric that would start in 2012, according to one executive with knowledge of the talks. Neither network would offer her the evening anchor position, although she would likely work on specials, including the upcoming presidential elections.

Lauren Kapp, a spokeswoman for NBC, declined to comment.

CBS fell 2 cents to $24.78 at 1:24 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had gained 30 percent this year before today. Disney fell 34 cents to $41.93 and had climbed 13 percent this year before today.

Comcast Corp., which controls NBC, fell 10 cents to $25.24 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

CBS executives are interviewing candidates to be the executive producer of Pelley’s newscast, one person said.

--Editor: Rob Golum, Peter Elstrom

To contact the reporters on this story: Ronald Grover in Los Angeles at rgrover5@bloomberg.net; Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net; Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net.

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