Former Martha Stewart Producer Named Executive Producer of 'Katie'
UPDATED: Michael Morrison takes over for CNN-bound Jeff Zucker in early January.
Michael Morrison has been tapped to replace Jeff Zucker as executive producer of Katie Couric's daytime talk show on ABC. Morrison, who comes to Katie after one season as executive producer on Martha Stewart's Martha, will take the reins in early January when the show resumes production after the holiday hiatus. Sources say Couric introduced Morrison to the staff Thursday.
Zucker launched the show with Couric, his longtime collaborator during their time together at NBC News and Today. But in mid-January, he'll take over as president of CNN Worldwide, where he'll continue to be based in New York.
Morrison joins producers Kathy Samuels and Michael Bass (who also worked at NBC News with Couric and Zucker). Morrison was named executive producer of Martha in 2011, the show's final season on Hallmark Channel. (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is in the midst of downsizing its broadcast and publishing divisions and on Wednesday announced that CEO Lisa Gersh would step down after an unspecified transition period.)
Morrison also has been a programming consultant at A&E, where he was an executive producer of several shows including Sell This House.
Katie -- which is averaging about 2.5 million viewers -- is the top-rated new daytime show this season among households, total viewers and the women 25-to-54 demographic.