Why Katie Couric Turned Down NBC, CBS in Favor of ABC for New Talk Show (Report)
Despite her history with both CBS and NBC, Katie Couric is poised to announce Monday that she has chosen ABC as the home for her upcoming daytime talk show.
According to the New York Times, talks with NBC and CBS both stalled for various reasons.
NBC, where Couric co-anchored Today for several years, reportedly didn't have a problem with ousted NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker's involvement in the show. But NBC execs did believe, however, that Couric's camp was making "excessive demands," including their insistence that NBC stations free up its 4 p.m. hour -- prime real estate in daytime -- for Couric. Meanwhile, Couric's team also reportedly felt that NBC had too little experience in the syndication business.
Meanwhile, CBS -- where Couric recently departed as anchor of CBS Evening News after five years -- also is said to have made a real push for the show, led by CBS Corp. chief Leslie Moonves. The issue, however, was that CBS wanted Couric to focus on the syndicated show and end her role with the news division, meaning she could have worked for 60 Minutes only until the daytime show premiered.
As for ABC, the network began a "serious push" in March with an offer for a network-based show in the early afternoon. Soon, Anne Sweeney -- co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group -- added in the promise of a role in the news division.
For her part, Couric says she is happy with the end result of the laborious negotiations.
“It is very gratifying that so many people were willing to meet with me and were interested,” she said. “It made me think maybe a show like this could do reasonably well. We’ll see.”
Meanwhile, Couric says she wants the show to focus on newsmakers like Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga. She also is hoping to report for Nightline.
The talker is set to debut in 2012.