Report: Katie Couric 'Likely' to Leave CBS as Early as January

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After two years of record-low ratings, both cbs News executives and people close to Katie Couric say that the “CBS Evening News” anchor is likely to leave the network well before her contract expires in 2011—possibly soon after the presidential inauguration early next year.

And Howard Kurtz at The Washington Post adds this: “If Couric is eased out as anchor, CBS plans to offer her either a syndicated talk show or a full-time role on ’60 Minutes.’ Otherwise, executives have signaled they would release her from her contract to seek a better deal elsewhere.”

Back in April, 2007 Gail Shister reported something similar in the Philadelphia Inquirer, noting that at the time there was "a growing feeling within the network that Katie Couric is an expensive, unfixable mistake," and that as a result she "may leave CBS Evening News, probably after the 2008 presidential elections."

 

CBS executives aggressively denied the report then. Ditto this time around.

 

"We are very proud of the ‘CBS Evening News,’ particularly our political coverage, and we have no plans for any changes regarding Katie or the broadcast," CBS News responded in a statement.

 

What will Ms. Couric do if she leaves CBS News?

 

The Journal‘s Rebecca Dana speculates:

 

One possible new job for Ms. Couric: succeeding Larry King at CNN. Mr. King, who is 74 years old, has a contract with the network into 2009. CNN President Jon Klein, a CBS veteran with close ties to some at the network, has expressed admiration for Ms. Couric’s work, and the two are friends. They had lunch in late January, and the anchor attended Mr. Klein’s birthday party in March.

Report: Katie Couric 'Likely' to Leave CBS as Early as January