WSJ: Couric, CBS Likely to Split

Katie Couric on CBS Evening NewsInteresting news coming out of CBS today. First, the Wall Street Journal reporting that Katie Couric is "likely" to leave the network--before her contract expires, possibly after the inaguration of the next president:

After two years of record-low ratings, both CBS News executives and people close to Katie Couric say that the "CBS Evening News" anchor is likely to leave the network well before her contract expires in 2011 -- possibly soon after the presidential inauguration early next year.

Ms. Couric isn't even halfway through her five-year contract with CBS, which began in June 2006 and pays an annual salary of around $15 million. But CBS executives are under pressure to cut costs and improve ratings for the broadcast, which trails rival newscasts on ABC and NBC by wide margins. [...]

CBS, of course denies all this.

It's possible that Ms. Couric could survive if a major news event lifted the newscast's ratings or some other shift occurred at CBS.

Assuming the two part ways, it's unclear what will happen to either the "Evening News" or Ms. Couric. CBS executives are investigating which prominent news personalities are nearing the end of their contracts.

One possible new job for Ms. Couric: succeeding Larry King at CNN. Mr. King, who is 74 years old, has a contract with the network into 2009. CNN President Jon Klein, a CBS veteran with close ties to some at the network, has expressed admiration for Ms. Couric's work, and the two are friends. They had lunch in late January, and the anchor attended Mr. Klein's birthday party in March. Time Warner Inc.'s CNN said, "Larry King is a great talent who consistently delivers the highest profile guests, and we have no plans to make a change." Through a publicist, Mr. King declined to comment.

Read the rest.

Oh and that story about Dan Rather's lawsuit being set back somehow by the court it's being tried in? Don't believe it. The main part of it is still around. Rather is still a huge thorn in CBS's side.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013