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Katie Couric: 'Today' Show Return Pondered After Meredith Vieira Left

Image: Katie Couric: 'Today' Show Return Pondered After Meredith Vieira Left

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 29 May 2013 02:02 PM

Katie Couric said she actually thought about returning to "Today" in 2011 after Meredith Vieira left the morning program.

It's up to conjecture how serious she would have taken the offer, if one would have been made, but Couric told Howard Stern on his Sirius XM radio show Tuesday that there were "some cautious overtures to me to possibly come back to the 'Today' show," but she said in the end those overtures "sort of evaporated."

Vieira left "Today" in June 2011, a month before Couric signed off on her historic, but failed run as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," so the timing would have been ideal. Couric indicated that a return to NBC might not have been so bad.

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"You know, part of me . . . for me, that was the best job," she told Stern. Couric said she had talked with her former "Today" co-host Matt Lauer about actually doing a show together at some point.

After prompting from Stern, Couric admitted a long ago "crush" on Lauer when he was a local news anchor at WNBC.

"I thought he was so funny, and so quick," she said.

What Couric did miss out on was the eventual infighting that evolved with Lauer and former co-host Ann Curry in 2012. Curry was eventually fired last year. A public backlash against Lauer was partially blamed for "Today" taking a tumble in the ratings. Savannah Guthrie is the third co-host in seven years since Couric's departure.

Couric's talk show "Katie" has recently been picked up for a second season. The premiere telecast last year was rated the third highest-rated debut for a syndicated daytime talk show in the last decade, after the series premieres of "Dr. Phil" in 2002 and "Rachael Ray" in 2006.

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Before her talk show, she became the first female to solo anchor of a weekday network evening news broadcast when she took over the anchor chair at the "CBS Evening News" in September 2006. That run ended in July 2011 after the show's failure to pick up ground in the ratings war with ABC and NBC.

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