Longtime 'Today Show' anchor announces she's leaving NBC
"Today" show host Katie Couric announced her departure from NBC on Wednesday to join rival CBS, where she was to become the first sole woman anchor of a major U.S. network evening newscast.
Couric told her "Today" audience she was leaving at the end of May after 15 years, longer than any other anchor of the 54-year-old morning show, to join the CBS "Evening News" and "60 Minutes." A splashy announcement can be found on the CBS News Web site.
The shake-up has been seen as both a coup and a big risk for CBS, which will replace a tradition of venerable war correspondents in the anchor chair with someone whose career was built on the softer topics of the modern morning show.
The team of Couric, Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry has been hugely successful, which translates to big bucks when it comes to advertising dollars. The "Today Show” brings in $250 million in profit annually. Some 6 million viewers tune in daily. NBC has a big challenge ahead in finding the person with the right chemistry and skill mix to fill the vacancy Couric will leave.
There's big talk about Meredith Vieira of "The View" being the frontrunner to replace Katie. Viera is a former CBS News reporter who won a Daytime Emmy as host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." My personal favorite to replace Couric is Ann Curry, who has demonstrated time and time again that she's much more than a news reader.
By the way, if it weren't for the male-female formula that now dominates anchor desks, I'd say give the spot to Lester Holt. As a newsman, he's as smart and solid as they come. The icing on the cake: Holt oozes with charm.
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