- The University of Virginia announced today that Katie Couric will be the 2012 commencement speaker. A 1979 graduate of UVA, Couric will deliver the address at the University’s 183rd Final Exercises on May 20.
Disney-ABC Domestic Television says former NBC and CBS anchor Katie Couric‘s nationally syndicated talk show, “Katie,” has been cleared in more than 60% of the country.
“Katie” will air on the eight ABC O&Os, reaching 24% of U.S. TV households, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. The show has also been sold to ABC affiliates in Dallas (WFAA), Boston (WCVB), Atlanta (WSB), Washington, DC (WJLA), Detroit (WXYZ), Phoenix (KNXV) and Tampa/St. Pete (WFTS).
KING TV in Seattle is a rare, big market NBC affiliate that will air the show.
The ABC-Disney deal was announced in June. “Kate” is set to premiere in September. Meanwhile, Couric is working on projects for ABC News.
Her syndicated show won’t bow for another 11 months, so what’s Katie Couric to do?
Well, this morning she co-hosted LIVE alongside Kelly Ripa. Couric talked about her days of getting up early for the “Today” show, and how she still has nightmares about oversleeping and getting to the show late, because, well, she did.
“One time I overslept and I looked at my little digital clock and it said 6:38,” said Couric. “And oh, my God. I had to get dressed in about five minutes and I got there in the nick of time. And I think that was when I was co-anchoring with Bryant [Gumbel]. And he was not pleased with that.”
Last week Couric was in Washington DC where she emcee’d the Habitat for Humanity “Build Hope” gala at the National Building Museum.
“Sometimes it feels strange not to be in the thick of things,” Couric tells The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz. “But I also think after 20 years of being on television every single day, it’s a nice opportunity to take a break. So I’m OK with it, actually.”
At the event, Couric learned she has an admirer in Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia. “This ole Southern boy has always dreamed of meeting Katie Couric,” said Isakson. “Habitat for Humanity just granted all of my wishes.”
- Diane Sawyer, who is anchoring “World News” from Afghanistan tonight: “Katie has so many unique gifts as a journalist, an interviewer and a broadcaster. She is also a friend and, as she knows, I’m so happy she’s joining the team at ABC News.”
- Barbara Walters: “Katie and I are good friends and have stayed closely in touch through the years. I am very happy to welcome her to the ABC family and I know she will be a great success.”
Katie Couric‘s deal with ABC is one of the most unique arrangements in TV today. It was crucial to Couric that any pact have a news component to it. But in its uniqueness there are many questions about how it will all work. Here are just some of the questions and the answers from ABC sources:
What is her role with ABC News?
Katie’s main mission is to create and launch a successful syndicated show. In the run up to launch, she will join the ABC News team and bring her many talents to bear on some of the most important and interesting stories of our time. After the syndicated show launches, she will continue to play a role at ABC News.
When will she start at ABC News?
Katie joins the ABC News team immediately and will begin to contribute this summer.
Will her role at ABC News change when the syndicated show begins?
Certainly the syndicated show will be Katie’s primary focus but we are thrilled that there will be great synergies between the show and the news division.
How frequently will she appear on ABC News?
After months of negotiation and speculation, Katie Couric‘s next stop will be ABC, where she got her start as a desk assistant in 1979. ABC announced that Couric, the former CNN and NBC reporter, “Today” show co-anchor and the first woman to solo anchor a network evening newscast — at CBS News — is moving to the world of syndication in a deal with Disney/ABC that also calls for contributions to ABC News beginning this summer.
Couric’s as-yet untitled syndicated show — which already has late afternoon clearance on the 8 ABC O&O’s — will begin in the fall of 2012 and will be executive produced by former NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker.
“It is tremendously exciting to have the creative freedom to develop my own show with Anne Sweeney and Jeff, and to contribute to such a vibrant, innovative news division,” said Couric.
In a note to staff, ABC News president Ben Sherwood writes, “While her primary mission will be to create and launch the new show, Katie is also joining our team at ABC News this summer, bringing her many talents to some of the most important and interesting stories of the day.”
Couric is in Los Angeles this morning — and will be on “The Tonight Show” tonight — as the deal was announced by Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks.
In her statement, Sweeney acknowledged Couric’s role with the news division: “Katie Couric is one of television’s iconic figures and we are thrilled to have forged such an exciting partnership with her. We look forward to having Katie join the best News team in the business, and to working with her to create a dynamic and successful talk show franchise.”
“I’ve known Katie for 14 years,” Sherwood writes, “and even with all of her success, I’m confident that her best days, biggest scoops and most powerful journalism lie directly ahead.”
Sherwood’s memo, and the news release from ABC, after the jump…
The Katie Couric saga continues. Now that the former “CBS Evening News” anchor has left the Tiffany network, all signs point to her signing a deal with ABC for a syndicated show, as well as some regular appearances on ABC News programs.
The latest comes from The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz, who notes that ABC changed its offer to Couric, effectively giving her control of her daytime show… and a larger piece of the revenue should it become a hit.
Under the multi-year proposal now on the table, Couric would have almost total ownership of the venture—giving her the potential to make far more than her $15 million-a-year anchor salary.
This morning, the billboard on CBS’s West 57th St. Broadcast Center featuring Katie Couric was removed and replaced with one that is an ensemble of CBS News anchors, reporters and programs, as Couric has now officially left the building.
Signage inside featuring Couric has also been replaced, say insiders.
The show will simply be called the “CBS Evening News” until Scott Pelley takes over on June 6. Radio News reports CBS Radio News has revamped its “Katie Couric’s Notebook” feature with the new “Reporter’s Notebook” with contributions from Bob Schieffer, Lara Logan, Anthony Mason, John Blackstone and Chip Reid.
Another interesting note, in the 56 largest U.S. markets, the so-called Metered Markets, Couric’s final “Evening News” delivered a 3.8 overnight rating. By contrast, her former show NBC’s “Today” yesterday drew a 4.0 rating.