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As speculation about Katie Couric’s career plans heating up, the CBS Evening News anchor is heading to Iraq on Monday night for a long-planned trip, the New York Times reported.
Couric plans to report on the country’s military and political situation since Baghdad fell to American forces eight years ago. CBS is expected to announce the trip Tuesday but wouldn’t confirm the news.
Couricis unlikely to renew her contract with CBS Evening News once it ends in June, instead opting to launch a syndicated show and possibly an online parternship with AOL or Yahoo.
CBS News chief Jeff Fager is actively looking for replacements inside and out of the company (Russ Mitchell, Scott Pelley and Harry Smith are said to be in consideration).
Couric began helming the CBS Evening News in 2006, and has been in third place behind Brian Williams at NBC Nightly News and Diane Sawyer and ABC World News.
A CBS News spokesperson told the AP: “We’re having ongoing discussions with Katie Couric. We have no announcements to make at this time. Until we do, we will continue to decline comment on rumor or speculation.”
Added Matthew Hiltzik, Couric’s spokesman: “Ditto.”
THR first reported on March 9 that Couric was considering a syndicated daytime show, and was considering collaborating with Jeff Zucker, whom she worked with on Today.
In an interview with David Letterman last month, Couric admitted she may not continue to anchor the news once her contract ends in June.
“I’m figuring out what I want to do,” Couric said. “I’m in the process of figuring it out.”
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