Image Credit: Bob Charlotte/PR PhotosThough rumors persist that CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric may return to NBC’s Today, a key source tells EW that it’s premature to predict what she may (or may not) do once her deal with CBS expires in May. “Kate is enjoying her success with her team at CBS News, and hasn’t made any decision,” says the source.
Speculation about Couric’s next move hit a fever pitch this week when her friend and former Today boss Jeff Zucker announced his intention to leave NBC-Universal once the takeover by Comcast is complete. While many speculated that Zucker’s departure would deter Couric from returning to the morning show, that is not the case, the insider stressed. A return to Today remains a possibility, though it’s too early to predict what newly-minted CEO Steve Burke will do, should Couric become available.
For now, Couric remains focused on CBS News, which this week earned seven News & Documentary Emmys — more than any other network. Couric won the prize for outstanding interview for her 60 Minutes chat with Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and the crew of U.S. Airways flight 1549, while her show nabbed Emmys for investigative journalism (“Rape in America: Justice Denied”), business and economic reporting (“Financial Family Tree”) and for best story in a regularly scheduled newscast (“The Battle of Wanat”).
Despite the flurry of honors (Couric has also won two Edward R. Murrow awards), CBS Evening News remains stuck in third place. For the 2009-10 season that ended Sept. 19, the broadcast averaged 5.7 million viewers — a 6% drop versus the previous year. The No. 1 ranked NBC (8.5 million) and the No. 2 ranked ABC (7.5 million) were also down 1% and 4%, respectively. Among adults 25-54 — the target audience for news — CBS (a 1.4 rating), also trailed NBC (2.1) and ABC (1.7). Each 25-54 ratings point represents 1.24 million viewers.