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Katie Couric To Leave Her CBS Anchor Chair

Katie Couric To Leave Her CBS Anchor Chair

Katie Couric, who made waves five years ago when she was appointed as the first woman to anchor an evening news program solo, will be stepping down from her post at CBS Evening News, according to an AP news story.  She is expected to launch a syndicated talk show in 2012, and her contract with CBS expires in early June.  The move has not been officially confirmed.

Couric broke ground when she rose to the evening news desk in 2006, but since then, her tenure at CBS has been relatively fraught, and there has been frequent speculation about her job security.  According to a 2007 article by Joe Hagan, she was expected to “blow up” the “formulaic evening-news format” when CBS offered her a show that would be “an incubator for her own ideas.”  This didn’t happen – CBS had lackluster ratings, and even Couric said that had she known how things would turn out, she might not have taken the job.

“It would have been less appealing to me,” she told Hagan. “It would have required a lot more thought.”

Now, four years later, she may be admitting defeat.  But it also might not be her fault.  Writing for Time, Joe Poniewozik says that CBS was expressing optimism when they hired Couric, showing their hope that “that the evening news business was not dying, and therefore it was possible not just to take market share from a competitor but to actually being in a new audience and increase the total evening-news viewership.”  This seems not to have happened, and the new contenders for Couric’s slot (all of whom are men) are unexciting prospects.  This, Poniewozik says, means that CBS is accepting that the evening news industry is in decline.

Diane Sawyer is still holding her own over at ABC, a promising sign, despite the fact that it seems unlikely that a woman will replace Couric.  But even though Katie Couric may not have been an ideal news anchor, or have accomplished her ambitious goals, she still broke an enormous glass ceiling – for which I’ll always admire her.

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21 comments

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1:43PM PDT on Apr 16, 2011

I was especially interested when she was hired. And I am sorry to see her go. Why? Because, we need women 'visible' in the media...women who will tackle issues. That's why I miss Barbara Walters & also am saddened by Ophrah's retirement [in spite of the launch of her own network]. As women, these role models are required - otherwise, women are simply 2nd or 3rd class 'objects' w/o opinions, issues, or even intelligence...women's rights are still under attack and I don't foresee this resolving itself any time in the future. Unfortunately.

8:58AM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

I've always like Katie. She has withstood many trials both personally and professionally. I think she will make a great talk-show host and wish her nothing but the best.

12:15AM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

I also lost interest in CBS when they fired Dan Rather.

5:58PM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

Katie seems like a very nice person, however I feel she is not a news anchor person. I don't watch CBS when she is on, I watch Diane Sawyer on ABC.

4:28PM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

CBS, ABC and NBC just don't get it. You can't do news in a 1/2 hour and you can't do it well without honesty in the news. That means something telling the people the truth about what really is going on. No hype, just facts and truth.

I too prefer Rachael Maddow.

1:12PM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

Give us real news instead of watered down drivel or propaganda and maybe people will listen.

1:03PM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

Sorry to see Katie go but I think that CBS lost a lot of it's popularity when they fired Dan Rather. Dan spoke the truth - and he got fired for it. I never really watched CBS after that, I'd been a faithful viewer since Walter Cronkite circa 1978 when I first came to the country, but after they fired Dan, that was that, goodbye CBS, hello Larry King (who was on simultaneously). And now, of course, CBS news can't hold a candle to CNN, sorry CBS.

12:56PM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

I liked her a lot before she tried to do straight news. She stepped beyond her abilities. I won't miss her at the news desk, but look forward to seeing her do something better suited to her skills.

12:38PM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

Can't say that I ever saw Katie but sounds to me like her politics might have been too middle of the road. Might be a good add to MSNBC crew.

11:28AM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

After living for 63 years and seeing "news" media reduced to a lot of "slap and tickle" between commercials and otherwise filled with corporate approved politically correct tripe while at the same time an entire world burns, I pretty much rely on on-line sources.

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