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Couric Leaving CBS?: The Morning After

couric_4-10.jpgThe Wall Street Journal’s educated guess breaking news about Katie Couric‘s supposed early departure from CBS News has generated much media buzz (even Fox News has David Lee Miller “on the scene” outside CBS HQ giving reports about the “sister publication”‘s story):

• The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz raises more financial questions. “Network executives could not justify Couric’s $15 million annual salary through 2011 if her only role were at ’60 Minutes,’ and Couric has indicated she wants to ensure a successful launch if she assumes a new role,” he wrote.

Verne Gay of Newsday takes the next step: what happens to the franchise? “The very mention of it would invite a bolt of lightning from the heavens: What if CBS cancels ‘The Evening News?’” He also makes note that the Journal story repeats, “the exact same story that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer last fall under the by-line of Gail Shister.”

Dave Goldner‘s story in the Daily News uses some choice adjectives: “The cheery Couric, 51, who replaced the iconic Dan Rather as “CBS Evening News” anchor, makes $15 million a year” (TVN emphasis added). And later: “[J]ust two years after she vowed to bring a new style to the stodgy ‘Evening News’ — did anyone say perky? — Couric could be ready to throw in the typewriter.”

Meanwhile, CNN.com (CBS’ maybe BFF) took an interesting approach: use the same CBS spokesperson and Couric quotes from the Journal story to prove the exact opposite point! Headline: “Couric, CBS say she isn’t leaving soon.”

TVNewser is attending the American Women in Radio & Television lunch this afternoon featuring Rene Syler (formerly of The Early Show) and Mary Alice Williams (formerly of NBC and CNN). Reaction to come later…

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