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Couric To Leave Evening News After 2008 Elections?

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Out after ’08?

The network is denying it, but that’s what embattled Philadelphia Inquirer TV columnist Gail Shister hears from her sources inside the Eye. It wouldn’t surprise us in the least, considering what CBS has gotten for the $15 million a year it spent to bring Couric across town.

Let’s see: a Photoshopping scandal, daily, indefatigable criticism — no doubt a byproduct of how much the network hyped her arrival — a swap of EPs, a plagiarism scandal, a newscast mired in third place and — oh yes — its anchor telling visitors to its Web site that she can “say ‘old sperm’ because this is the Web.” Lovely.

Shister gets some good grist out of anonymous “veteran” CBS people:

“From the moment she walked in here, she held herself above everybody else,” says a CBS staffer. “We had to live up to her standards. … CBS has never dealt in this realm of celebrity before.”

Perhaps we’ll glean more insight Thursday, when we’ll be dining with Couric at the Overseas Press Club Awards.

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