'Katie': Another Executive Producer Exits

2012-32 REP Katie Couric P

The newswoman's talk show debuts to the best daytime launch since "Dr. Phil" a decade ago, besting rivals Steve Harvey, Jeff Probst and Ricki Lake by wide margins.

Another executive producer is exiting Katie Couric's freshman talk show.

Michael Morrison, who joined the show last January after Jeff Zucker exited to run CNN, will depart when the show wraps its first season in July. His replacement will be Rachel Miskowiec, a veteran of daytime television who has produced The Tyra Banks Show as well as Dr. Drew's Lifechangers

The announcement was made Friday by Vicki Dummer, executive vp ABC Media Group. Morrison's exit was expected as the show has cycled through a number of producers since it launched in September 2012. Multiple producers have left including Michael Bass, who followed Zucker to CNN, and Matt Lombardi, who is now a producer at the ABC News program 20/20. Lombardi was among the producers Couric recruited from CBS News. Tony Maciulis, who also worked with Couric at CBS News, remains and earlier this year was elevated to a supervisory role. Matt Strauss and Kathy Samuels also will stay on as co-executive producers along with former Good Morning America producer Ethan Nelson, who joined Katie last February.

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It's not unusual for a first-year talk show to go through a number of producers. But Couric's show, while the season's top-rated freshman entry among households, has been weathering something of an identity crisis. Well-placed sources tell THR that Couric is still working to find her comfort level with some of the fluffier staples of daytime. She is far more comfortable conducting the newsier interviews that play to her journalistic strengths, such as her extended sit-down with Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor and her exclusive with scandal-plagued Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, which earned the show's highest ratings to date with nearly 3.8 million viewers tuning in. But such opportunities do not come along every day. And the challenge now, say insiders, is finding the right tone and balance for the show.

In a statement, Dummer characterized Miskowiec as "an incredibly passionate and experienced veteran of daytime." "She is creative, smart and a great leader," she added. "Rachel is fearless and competitive and she truly loves making daytime television."