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Couric Watch

Katie Couric’s Final ‘Evening News’

Here’s how the Katie Couric era at CBS News, just shy of five years, came to a close:

After the jump, how her competitors, who could soon be her colleagues, said goodbye…

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Katie Couric preps for final ‘Evening News’

Katie Couric is in Washington, DC wrapping up her final CBS Evening News interview. Couric is talking with Secy. of State Hillary Clinton about Pres. Obama’s speech on Middle East policy. She’ll return to New York to anchor her final show which will include a piece titled, “Five Minutes in Five Years” looking back at some of the big moments she has covered while at CBS News – highlights from “Evening News, “60 Minutes,” her web show @katiecouric, and “Sunday Morning.”

Colleagues will give her a champagne toast following tonight’s broadcast in the CBS newsroom. We’ll have pictures later.

Tomorrow and for the next two weeks, CBS News plans to have Erica Hill and Harry Smith and others fill in until Scott Pelley takes over the show on June 6.

As Couric finishes her tour on “Evening News” her competitors are out of town. ABC’s Diane Sawyer has the day off, David Muir is filling in. And NBC’s Brian Williams will anchor “Nightly News” from NBC’s Burbank bureau as he takes part in “Education Nation Los Angeles.”

Katie on Katie and Dave on Katie: ‘So that means here at CBS, Andy Rooney is the perkiest person’

Katie Couric has just four more “Evening News” broadcasts left. As she announced last night that next Thursday will be her final broadcast, Couric added, “That night we’ll take a look back at some of the amazing stories we’ve covered over the past five years.”

As Couric was announcing her departure date, a few blocks away David Letterman was including her in his monologue. “Katie Couric… after five years of being the face of CBS News, is leaving … So that means that here at CBS, Andy Rooney is now the perkiest person.”

Katie Couric’s Final ‘Evening News’ set for May 19

First on: TVNewser has learned Katie Couric‘s final “Evening News” broadcast will be next Thursday, May 19. Couric will make the announcement tonight on the show. Last night was the final broadcast for her executive producer, Rick Kaplan. Couric’s contract with CBS runs until June 4. A source tells TVNewser, no further announcement about Couric’s future is immediately forthcoming.

Today’s news means three of the biggest names in all host-dom will be departing their programs within a three-week span.

Katie Couric's final "Evening News" is May 19.

Oprah Winfrey's final show is May 25.

Meredith Vieira's final "Today" show is June 8.

Katie Couric’s Farewell to Rick Kaplan

Katie Couric will be departing in a couple weeks, but today was “CBS Evening News” EP Rick Kaplan‘s final show. Earlier in the day we reported where he’s going next — to ABC News as EP of “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” Here’s how Couric signed off tonight:

And before we leave you tonight, we want to take a moment to wish our executive producer, Rick Kaplan, the very best. This is his last broadcast at CBS News .. and while we could go on, as Rick has told me many times .. we’re tight on time. So from all of us at CBS News…THANK YOU, Rick…goodnight and good luck.

After the show, there was a gathering in the newsroom where artist Peter Max presented a drawing of Kaplan he’d created — a gift from the Evening News staff. We’re told staffers, including Couric, then headed across W. 57th St. to CBS watering hole Jake’s Saloon for cocktails.

Couric and Kaplan could be reunited at ABC. Couric is weighing a deal at Disney/ABC for a syndicated daytime show along with contributions to ABC News. Couric’s contract with CBS ends early next month.

Katie Couric Interviews Rachel Maddow

Katie Couric continues to spread her wings, busting out of the evening news anchor mode and conducting an interview in Glamour magazine, with fellow tvnewser Rachel Maddow.

COURIC: What do you think is most surprising about working in cable news?

MADDOW: I don’t know. I feel different talking to you about this than I would to anyone else. So my answer to anyone who’s not Katie Couric… [Addressing Katie] Can you not listen?

COURIC: [Laughs.] Earmuffs!

MADDOW: I was going to say that what’s weird about cable is that people get really engaged with news hosts as brands. But I guess that was really a hallmark of your career, too, on the networks. No matter what you’re talking about, people wanted to know more about what you thought about it, because they are interested in you as a person.

COURIC: It’s a hinky balance, no?

MADDOW: Yes. And I don’t want to insert myself into the story. I just want to give a useful analysis of it to help people come to their own conclusions. It’s why I have a conveyor belt of gray blazers—I try to look exactly the same every day.

COURIC: Do you consider yourself a journalist, or a commentator?

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The Katie Couric Rumor Mill Continues…

Another week, another round of speculation as to where “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric will end up.

This week the news is that CBS may have retracted its formal offer, while ABC continues to make a move.

Yesterday, TV Guide‘s Stephen Battaglio reported that CBS pulled its offer, which was comprised of a daytime talk show deal, along with a continued presence on CBS News programs like “60 Minutes.”

Meanwhile, TMZ reports that Couric is close to a $20 million deal at ABC, which would give her a syndicated show and a significant presence on the ABC News platforms.

Deadline.com’s Nellie Andreeva has more on the matter, including the fact that CBS has the right to match any deal made by a competitor, so even if ABC is the only offer on the table, CBS can still swoop in:

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Change at ‘CBS Evening News’ merits story on ‘Nightly News’ and ‘World News’

On their respective newscasts both Brian Williams and Diane Sawyer made note of Katie Couric‘s decision to leave the CBS Evening News. Sawyer called Couric her “colleague and friend.” Williams referred to her as “our friend and NBC News alum.” Shepard Smith reported the news on FOX Report and a handful of affiliates, mostly CBS stations, reported the story as well. Couric did not mention her departure on tonight’s CBS Evening News which she anchored from London.

Katie Couric: ‘I’m excited about doing something that’s a little more in my wheelhouse.’

Before she got on a plane for London, Katie Couric took care of a little business. She gave a statement to People magazine about her decision to leave the CBS Evening News and then talked about it with Tavis Smiley.

“While it was such a privledge to sit in that chair that once was occupied by Walter Cronkite … you know … it’s a pretty confining venue.”

Here’s the clip from the show. The interview can be seen in its entirety on PBS tonight.

Katie Couric to ABC?: ‘Everybody thinks this is a real long-shot.’

Katie Couric will announce this afternoon, via People magazine, that she is leaving the anchor desk at the “CBS Evening News.” Now, the speculation about her next stop is in high gear.

Bloomberg News first reported the possibility yesterday that Couric might land at ABC. Now TVGuide’s Stephen Battaglio goes one further on a possible move to a syndication deal with Disney/ABC.

There is still an offer on the table for Couric to stay at CBS with a syndicated talk show and a role on the newsmagazine show “60 Minutes.” But ABC has made a big push for a Couric talk show plus even wider exposure across its network news platforms, including a presence on its 2012 presidential election coverage and prime time specials. CBS News is not willing to match that end of the offer. NBC, which had expressed interest, is no longer in the running.

This could get very interesting at ABC News. Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Barbara Walters under the same roof?

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