I hear Disney-ABC has launched a search for top-level producer(s) to take the reins of Katie Couric‘s syndicated daytime talk show. The contingency plan is being put in place as speculation intensifies thatKatie executive producer Jeff Zucker would be leaving the freshman talker. I hear talks with potential candidates are under way, and a hire is expected within the next couple of weeks. Zucker has a major financial interest in Katie (some sources indicate he is poised to pocket $8 million from the $20 million guarantee to Couric and him), and is not likely to leave without a succession plan in place. But, having run one of the biggest media companies in the world, NBC Universal, he has been expected to jump back to the executive ranks. He currently has two lieutenants on the show: co-executive producers Michael Bass and Kathy Samuels.
There has been chatter about Zucker being courted for several top jobs, including CEO of Tribune, but attention has focused recently on the vacancy at CNN. With his strong news background, Zucker is considered a leading candidate to succeed CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton when he departs at the end of the year. Such timing would work for providing a smooth transition on Katie, which has a two-year deal with the ABC stations. (There are several other names bandied about for the CNN job including MSNBC head Phil Griffin and usual suspects David Westin, Andrew Heyward and Neal Shapiro). Read More »
Uh-oh. In its fourth airing on Thursday, Katie Couric’s new syndicated talk show dropped 26% in households to a 1.7/5 in the metered markets and 38% to a 0.8/5 in the key Women 25-54 demographic. In households, Katie still finished first among the freshman daytime talk shows but by a smaller margin. In W25-54, it was edged by Steve Harvey (0.9/6 in W 25-54, 1.3/4 in HH), which finished as No.1 for the first time since the launch of Katie.
In four days, Katie has shed 39% in households and 50% in W 25-54 from its big premiere numbers. What is more alarming is that the show has fallen below the time period average last season (2.3/7 HH, 1.4/8 in W25-54), when a large number of stations carried General Hospital. In comparison, Steve Harvey is up from a 1.0/3 HH and 0.5/3 W 25-54 rating in the time period last year. Steve Harvey also has shown consistency, posting a 1.5/4 in HH for its series premiere last week and again this Monday, 1.4/4 on Tuesday and Wednesday and a 1.3/4 on Thursday, ranking No. 2 behind Katie among the newcomers. But his strength has really been in the women demos, posting a 0.9 W 25-54 rating three time this week and a 1.0 on Wednesday. Steve Harvey also has helped a its lead-out, Ellen, which is posting … Read More »
Katie Couric chose her words carefully in an interview with Good Housekeeping when asked about her experience at CBS while anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News. While proud of the work she did, Couric said she knew it wasn’t where she would finish her career. “It wasn’t the right environment for me. In terms of the atmosphere, it wasn’t a good fit for my sensibilities and personality”, she said. She described feeling “constrained” during her time there and “liberated” when she left the network after five years. “I’m not a quitter. There were times when I thought to myself, Gee, do I need this? But I thought, You know what? I can do this job as well as anyone. If people are projecting their own issues onto me, that’s not my problem”, she added. Couric gave up her co-anchor seat next to Matt Lauer after 15 years on NBC’s Today to take the CBS gig. She’s returning to television next month with the premiere of her new daytime talk show Katie.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Katie Couric breezed through ABC’s morning presentation at TCA to hype her forthcoming syndicated daily daytime talk show Katie, disclosing that she already has invited famed former interview subject Sarah Palin to come on but has yet to hear back. Couric also has invited President Obama and Michelle Obama as well as Mitt and Ann Romney to the show, which premieres September 10.
Couric also detailed what she expects the show to be (she disclosed that Sheryl Crow wrote and performs the theme song) and that producer Jeff Zucker — long her boss during her years at the Today show — will be constantly in her ear during production. ”I’m really excited to be able to work with Jeff,” Couric said. “We had some great years on the Today show and have very similar sensibilities. We can finish each other’s sentences. And I know he’s got my back. I trust him implicitly. It givers me a great sense of security to have him here, to have someone in your ear whom you really trust.”
EXCLUSIVE: Another key member of the Katie Couric-Jeff Zucker team from the golden era of Today is joining them on Couric’s upcoming syndicated talk show. No, it’s not Matt Lauer, who recently re-upped his deal at the NBC morning show. Michael Bass, who served as executive producer Jeff Zucker’s No.2 on Today and as interim executive producer on the NBC program when Zucker left to become NBC Entertainment president, has closed a deal to serve as co-executive producer on Katie, Couric’s daytime syndicated talk show, which launches Sept. 10.
Bass, who I hear has been working behind the scenes on the Disney-ABC Domestic TV-distributed Katie for a month or two, joins fellow co-executive producer Kathy Samuels. Both will report to Jeff Zucker and help him run the show. That is a familiar position for WME-repped Bass who worked as Zucker’s deputy on Today for five years and then briefly served as acting executive producer but left the show in 2001 when he was passed over for the EP job went to Jonathan Wald. He did a stint as Senior executive producer of CBS’ Early Show and CBS Morning News before reuniting with Zucker in 2008 when then-NBC Universal CEO Zucker hired him as SVP strategic initiatives.
Katie Couric will host a weekly web series as part of her overall deal with ABC News that will stream on a dedicated Yahoo page, ABC announced today. Topics on Katie’s Take will include health, nutrition, parenting and wellness, and each episode will feature interviews with experts in those fields. “I am happy to have found a place in the digital world where I can cut through fads and trends,” Couric said. “I want to introduce people to serious experts who can hopefully help provide real solutions.” The series launches May 1. Couric’s ABC deal for a new syndicated daytime show that launches September 1 includes ABC News duties; she guest-hosted on the network’s Good Morning America earlier this month in a closely watched ratings battle with her former employer, NBC’s Today.
In one of the most closely watched ratings races, NBC’s Today show topped Good Morning America last week when the ABC program had former Today star Katie Couric as guest co-host. With hyped appearances by Meredith Vieira on Monday, Sarah Palin on Tuesday, Ryan Seacrest on Wednesday and veteran host Matt Lauer announcing his new deal on Friday, Today drew 5.11 million viewers last week, up 11% from the previous week. GMA (4.90 million) got a smaller boost in viewership, up 1%. Among adults 25-54, both shows actually declined slightly. Today (2.14 million) was down 2%, GMA (1.83 million) was down 5%. GMA won Wednesday in total viewers, with the other 4 days going to Today.
In what has become one of the most closely watched ratings battles ever, ABC’s Good Morning America with guest host Katie Couric edged Couric’s former show, NBC’s Today, for the first time. On Wednesday, Good Morning America drew 5.236 million total viewers, to Today’s 5.149 million. Today still had the edge in adults 25-54, 2.25 million vs. 1.93 million for GMA. Beating Today in total viewers is not an unusual feat for GMA. With its regular female host, Robin Roberts, the morning show accomplished that two days in each of the last two weeks. On Wednesday, Today had American Idol host Ryan Seacrest announcing that he will join NBC’s Olympic coverage.
Katie Couric’s heavily promoted return to morning television did not result in a ratings win for ABC’s Good Morning America. On Monday, the first day of Couric’s week-long stint on GMA, ABC’s morning program averaged 4.78 million viewers to 5.11 million for NBC’s Today, according to fast-national ratings. In adults 25-54, GMA pulled 1.76 million viewers (1.5 rating) to Today‘s 2.20 million (1.8 rating).
Ironically, in the last Monday for which final ratings have been released, March 19, GMA edged Today (4.974 million vs. 4.926 million) with regular female host Robin Roberts. Today threw in a mystery “Today legend” stunt against Couric’s GMA debut on Monday, which turned out to be Meredith Vieira. The NBC morning show will likely repeat its ratings victory on Tuesday with Sarah Palin’s headline-making guest hosting turn. Preliminary ratings for CBS This Morning‘s Monday edition, which featured an interview with Oprah Winfrey, are not available yet.
NBC’s Today is not taking Katie Couric‘s week-long guest stint on rival Good Morning America in stride. In the span of several hours yesterday NBC launched a promo teasing the return of a “legend” on the Monday Today show and a guest-hosting stint by Couric’s enemy Sarah Palin on Tuesday. (NBC refused to name the “legend” before the Monday show, triggering Internet speculation that has turned up such suggestions as Jane Pauley, Bryant Gumbel and… John Legend) Between the “legend” stunt on Today, Katie Couric’s return to morning television on GMA and Gayle King’s interview with BFF Oprah Winfrey on CBS This Morning, tomorrow morning is shaping up as one of the most competitive morning contests in years. It was Couric who conducted that now infamous 2008 interview (on Couric’s former CBS Evening News home) which hurt the then GOP Vice Presidential candidate’s political credibility.
Six years after she left morning television, Katie Couric is back — for a week. The former Today host will fill in for a vacationing Robin Roberts on ABC’s Good Morning America next week. “Katie Couric is going to be sitting in this chair next to George Stephanopoulos,” Roberts said on the air this morning. “We’re thrilled to have Katie.” Couric’s ABC deal for a new syndicated daytime show includes ABC News duties. Couric joins GMA when the morning show is on the rise, posting ratings increases and closing the gap with leader Today. For the most recent week with available data, GMA averaged 4.73 million total viewers and a 1.9/12 among adults 25-54 to Today‘s 4.99 million and 1.8/14. “Serious pressure filling in for the fab @RobinRoberts !” Couric tweeted. “Rise + shine! Excited to be back on morning TV next wk, guest hosting @GMA w/ @GStephanopoulos.”
Katie Couric’s nationally syndicated talk show will premiere on Monday, Sept. 10. The show’s executive producer Jeff Zucker unveiled the date, along with a new logo for the show and announcements of two senior production staff hires, director Joe Terry, who has spent the last 14 years as director for The Oprah Winfrey Show, and co-executive producer Kathy Samuels (Rachael Ray). Zucker will serve as the day-to-day showrunner of Katie, which is distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. It will air live in front of a studio audience from TV One at ABC’s Manhattan headquarters.
The clearances for Katie Couric’s upcoming live hourlong daily syndicated talk show Katie have reached 93% of the country, including 95 of the top 100 markets. In addition to the show’s core launch group of the ABC O&O stations, clearances include stations owned by Allbritton Communications, Belo, Cox Media Group, Gannett Broadcasting, Granite, Griffin, Hearst Television, LIN Broadcasting, McGraw-Hill, Media General, Meredith, Raycom, Scripps Howard Broadcasting, Sinclair and Young Broadcasting. Katie, executive produced by Couric and Jeff Zucker and distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, premieres in September 2012.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
ABC News president Ben Sherwood said during his division’s TCA session today that network newcomer and former CBS News anchor Katie Couric will not reprise her role as an anchor on ABC’s evening news. “You’ll see her showcased in all kinds of different ways, but she’s done the anchoring thing in the evening,” he said, nixing recent speculation of her coming in as a replacement anchor for the 6:30 PM newscast. (Couric’s rich deal with ABC for a syndicated daytime talk show includes an ABC News component.) “You’ll see her in the morning. You’ll see her all over the place.” After the session, Sherwood went on defense about Couric’s demise in the CBS News anchor chair. “I don’t think the viewers have rejected her,” he said. “It’s not about rejection. It’s about what she wants to do.” Speaking of anchors, Sherwood said during the session that the network hopes former anchor Charles Gibson will return in some capacity. “You heard his voice on ABC News over the weekend on This Week: he introduced George Stephanopoulos,” he said. “We hope in time we’ll get Charlie back on the air.” Read More »
Disney-ABC’s new syndicated daily talk show Katie, hosted by former Today and CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, has added station clearances to reach coverage of more than 80% of the country, including 55 of the top 60 markets. In addition to the show’s core launch group of the ABC owned stations, clearances include stations from the Granite, Griffin, Media General, Meredith, Raycom and Sinclair broadcast groups. Katie is one of four new daily syndicated talk shows hosted by a well-known TV personality to launch next fall, along with NBCU’s Steve Harvey and CBS TV Distribution’s Jeff Probst, which have been announced, and Twentieth’s Ricki Lake, which is expected to join them.
Katie Couric’s upcoming nationally syndicated talk show, Katie, has been cleared in over 60% of the country, according to distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television. Katie, slated to launch in fall 2012, has been sold in 14 of the top 15 markets. Of course, the backbone of that are the eight ABC owned-and-operated stations, which picked up the show as part of Couric’s deal with Disney/ABC. The eight stations (in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh/Durham and Fresno) cover 22.5% of the country, including the top five markets. Additional clearances include stations from broadcast groups Allbritton Communications, Belo Corporation, Cox Media Group, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, LIN Broadcasting, McGraw-Hill, Scripps Howard Broadcasting and Young Broadcasting. Read More »
Regis Philbin said today during the season premiere of his syndicated morning talk show Live With Regis and Kelly that his last day on the Disney-ABC program will be Nov. 18. The 80-year-old had announced back in January that his was retiring from Live after 28 years. As for his replacement, producer Michael Gelman said during the show this morning that there is no short list of candidates, and a guest-host rotation will continue until a permanent host is found.
– ABC today revealed that Katie Couric’s first news assignment at her new home will air tonight on Nightline, when the former CBS News anchor interviews Sarah Jessica Parker ahead of the actress’ upcoming feature I Don’t Know How She Does It. Sure, these are the types of guests Couric will nab for her upcoming ABC talk show, but it’s a curious debut for her owing to her much-publicized negotiations with potential suitors that centered on her insisting she stay close to hard news, like covering the 2012 presidential elections. Read More »
It looks like Katie Couric has settled on a name for her new ABC talk show that debuts in fall 2012, and we bet you can guess it. Following the likes of Anderson (Cooper), Ellen (DeGeneres) and even Oprah, Couric’s syndicated program will be called simply Katie. TVNewser has the news as well as some promotional material, including a shot of a smiling Couric standing arms folded in front of a wispy, pastel-colored background — a long way from her spot in the network anchor chair at CBS News. The New York-based daytime talker, which will be executive produced by Jeff Zucker, is only part of a far-reaching deal Couric signed with ABC in June that includes work for ABC News.