CBS’ high-profile — and very expensive — attempt to juice up its Evening News telecast is expected to come to an official end this week. A well-placed source told EW that Katie Couric, 54, will confirm that she’s decided to leave the telecast to pursue other opportunities. Her contract officially ends in June.
Couric is expected to focus on developing a daytime talk show that may or may not involve Today’s Matt Lauer. Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that there have been discussions to reunite her with her former co-worker and friend.
Couric, who anchored the Evening News since 2006, is not expected to publicly acknowledge her next chapter for some time.
In the meantime, the source also told EW that CBS will likely announce Couric’s successor next week, or before its annual upfront presentation to advertisers in New York. It seems likely that 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley is the frontrunner, though CBS’s Harry Smith and Russ Mitchell have also been mentioned as possible successors.
Couric and her team at Evening News earned Emmys for their hard work but they never translated into better ratings for the struggling franchise. At 6.1 million, Evening News has languished in third place behind NBC Nightly News (9.2 million) and ABC’s World News (8.1 million). CBS has yet to confirm Couric’s departure.