Katie Couric could make a deal with Disney ABC TV Groups’ syndication arm to host a syndicated daytime talk show plus have a significant presence in the network’s ABC News telecasts.
TMZ reported that Couric has an offer from ABC for $20 million to join the network, along with hosting a one-hour syndicated talk show launching in the fall of next year. The talk show could take over the timeslot currently held by General Hospital, potentially endangering another classic soap. (ABC is replacing All My Children and One Life to Live with unscripted shows).
There are ways to move things around to keep General Hospital, but insiders caution there’s no deal yet for Couric since CBS still has several weeks to match the offer. “Everybody still believes that ABC is the real underdog in any negotiation,” says an ABC insider.
But others say CBS is finished haggling. Sources say the network pulled Couric’s offer more than a week ago after the news personality seemed more interested in remaining heavily engaged in the news division rather than putting time into a daytime show. Plus, there were differences of opinion over the direction of the talk show: Couric wanted more newsmaker-style guests rather than ratings-grabbing celebrities.
Couric’s camp, meanwhile, insists that it was Couric who walked away from the negotiation table.
One way or another, it sounds like Couric will find a path to a daytime show next year.