The New Stuff

Katie Couric 5 Years Later: Will She Stay At CBS?

Once again, it's time for CBS anchor and NBC's “Today” Show alum, Katie Couric, to make another future paving decision. You may recall, Couric was faced with this kind of choice five years ago when she was given the option to take over the CBS evening news pioneering her way as the first female anchor of a network nightly news broadcast or stay at NBC – who, at the time – offered her an even bigger salary package to stay on board. Couric, as we know today, went with CBS raking in a reported $15 million per year. This just in... Not too shabby!

This time, after a precarious five years in the ratings, the ball might not be entirely in Couric's court as much as it was the last time. The Associated Press reported that “last week, Jeff Fager, the behind-the-scenes boss of '60 Minutes,' was appointed CBS News chairman with Bloomberg's David Rhodes his right-hand man. Their first major issue is likely to be whether Couric remains as the network's top anchor after her current contract expires at the end of May.”

This is not the first time Couric and others have rethought her decision leading to reports of possible proposed changes when it's contract time again. “Couric has discussed the syndicated talk show market with her good friend and former colleague, ex-NBC Universal Chairman Jeff Zucker.” But whether she stays put or not, it seems pretty apparent at this point that her lucrative eight-figure income will be old news coming to an end.

We keep hearing comments from industry veterans like “former NBC News executive Bill Wheatley and ex-CBS News anchor Dan Rather [who] both stressed the importance of Couric taking a hard look at whether the job makes her happy.” Then you also have the “ego factor” to deal with whenever dealing with big on-air figures with inflated reputations. Couric certainly doesn't want to step down giving CBS Corp. Chairman Leslie Moonves an obvious admission of guilt in a job not-so-well done. Let's face it, this isn't the first time Moonves has bumped heads with a network talent. He's gone head-to-head with fellow ego-maniac, David Letterman, on more than one occasion in the past.

Network TV for news people and entertainers has always been looked at from within the media industry as top dog. If you were on network, you were at the zenith of television success. But now, with the influx of new media such as the Internet and big celebrities like Conan O’Brien, George Lopez, and Oprah Winfrey unopposed to tackle the cable television universe, network TV is rapidly loosing some of it's luster and bragging rights within the air-wave community.

No matter where Katie goes, she can still look her colleagues in the eyes at the end of the day and say, “Well, at least I'm not on 'The View.' ”

(Image from EW)

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