(Adds quotes from Couric on vision for show)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Katie Couric has signed a
deal with ABC television to host and produce her own syndicated
daytime talk show starting in September 2012, ABC said
Couric, 54, will also contribute to other ABC News programs
starting this summer, anchoring specials and contributing
interviews, the Disney/ABC Television Group said in a
The daytime show is as yet untitled but will be produced by
Jeff Zucker - Couric's old boss from her days as host of NBC's
top-rated morning show "Today".
Couric told ABC News in an interview she hoped the show
would be smart and fun and a place where "you can go to make
sense of a very complicated world."
"Smart conversation, those are the two words that I would
like to aspire to, and also fun conversation," Couric said.
"We'll be running the gamut from everything from serious
stories, like a new cancer drug, or what's going on with the
deficit and trying to explain it so people can really
understand it, to dealing with kids and technology and what is
all this technology doing to our children's brains and ability
to socialize, to bullying, to fun, popular culture stories."
Couric, known as "America's Sweetheart", ended a five-year
stint on May 19 as anchor of rival network "CBS Evening News".
On her appointment in 2006, she was the first woman to serve as
a solo U.S. network evening news anchor.
The new daytime series will be based in New York. Eight ABC
affiliates have cleared their 3pm slots for the new show in
September 2012, ABC said.
Couric, one of the best-known personalities on U.S.
television, arrived at the CBS evening news show in 2006 in a
blaze of publicity. But despite winning a number of awards --
and famously interviewing a stumbling Sarah Palin in 2008 --
she never managed to lift the newscast out of its third place
in the ratings war with rivals NBC and ABC.
Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group,
called Couric "one of television's iconic figures."
"We look forward to having Katie join the best News team in
the business, and to working with her to create a dynamic and
successful talk show franchise," Sweeney added in a statement
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Christine Kearney)
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