Two More Producers Exit 'Katie'

Kathy Samuels and Ethan Nelson are the latest producers to leave Katie Couric's daytime talk show.
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Katie Couric on "Katie"

Two co-executive producers are exiting Katie Couric’s daytime talk show. Kathy Samuels and Ethan Nelson, who joined the show last February from ABC News, are exiting, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Additionally, director Joe Terry, a well-regarded daytime player and Oprah veteran, also is leaving.

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The latest producer purges come two weeks after ABC named Rachel Miskowiec as the new EP, replacing Michael Morrison, who himself replaced Jeff Zucker last January. And while staff changes are not unusual when a new executive producer comes aboard, the turnover at Katie has been pronounced.

Samuels, who was one of the show’s original co-executive producers when it launched last September, will transition to a development role at ABC. Nelson, who was previously a producer on Good Morning America and spinoff Good Afternoon America, did not respond to a request for comment about his plans. 

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Michael Bass, a veteran of NBC News and another original co-EP with Samuels, in April followed Zucker to CNN. Matt Lombardi 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.

The show has weathered an identity crisis as Couric is said still to be finding her comfort level with the softer segments that are obligatory in daytime. Although it stands as the top-rated freshman talker this season, she has lately been topped in the women 25-54 demographic by Steve Harvey. The show takes a hiatus at the end of July before returning in August to begin taping episodes for its second season.