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“If Katie Couric Is CBS’s Plan A, I Sure Hope They Have A Plan B”

Let’s play Who Said It? An “NBC News executive” is quoted in New York: “Let’s put it this way: If Katie Couric is CBS’s plan A, I sure hope they have a plan B.”

The magazine piece imagines that Les Moonves will try to woo Katie Couric again. Her contract expires in May 2006, and she currently earns $13 million a year. “Couric is CBS’s best shot, its only shot, and its long shot all rolled into one,” David Blum writes.

But “People who know Katie Couric say they don’t know what she’ll do — and suggest that Couric doesn’t know yet, either. She may allow herself to be wooed for a while; her agent, Alan Berger of Creative Artists Agency, has been suggesting around town that his client is seriously weighing the possibility of moving to CBS. And it’s conceivable that CBS would commit to the $15 million-a-year salary it would probably take to hire Couric, as well as the additional millions she would demand that the network pump into the news division to support her. One rival network estimate put the CBS bill for hiring Couric at $50 million, which would include the cost of grabbing talent from other networks, Roone Arledge style.”

But? There’s always a but. “But does she need the aggravation of anchoring a nightly newscast and being on call 24 hours a day? Does she want to be on the air for hours at a time during special events, having producers yell into her earpiece?”

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