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Stations get ready, Here comes Katie!

It may be the surest sign yet that Katie Couric will be leaving her perch at the CBS Evening News, and taking her talent to daytime talk. B&C reports Couric is close to a syndication deal and that CBS is the frontrunner.

Why? Because, reports B&C’s Paige Albiniak, “the company has a clause in its contract with Couric giving it the option to match any offer she gets prior to her contract’s expiration on June 4.”

While CBS is working hard to seal the deal, other companies remain in play. NBC, whose stations are seen as having the most need for a strong daytime show, remains interested, although CBS’ option to match any offer is causing NBC to tread lightly, because “we don’t want to negotiate her contract for her,” according to one NBC source.

And who is going to head this new show?

> Related, POLL: TVNewser asks: “Who should replace Couric on the Evening News?”

Once it launches, the talk show will serve as a jumping-off point for a multi-platform production company (think Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo) that Couric is developing with former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker as CEO. Zucker would serve as the talk show’s executive producer, but he’d also be head of the new company. Ed Wilson — former head of NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution, Fox Television Network and Tribune Broadcasting – is serving as a consultant to Couric and Zucker.

So while CBS stations will be seeing a new anchor for their network evening newscast, they may also have a shot at seeing Couric in daytime. But as these deals go, Couric could also pop up on your NBC station, or ABC station or FOX station…etc. Stay tuned.

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