Katie Couric is close to a deal with Disney's ABC for her own syndicated talk show beginning in Fall 2012, plus a role within ABC News, the Wall Street Journal reports. Couric, who recently announced her departure as anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” has been in talks with several networks about launching her own daytime program. Couric's contract with CBS expires on June 4.
Under the terms of the Disney deal, sources told the WSJ, Couric would own her talk show, which would air between 3 pm and 5 pm on Disney’s stations, and she would appear on ABC news until the program airs. The company would pay the anchor $20 million in advance, with the full amount depending on the show’s success. The deal could be finalized as early as next week or be pushed into June, according to varying reports, or even end up falling apart.
CBS could be the “wildcard” in the situation, said the WSJ. The network has considered giving Couric a daytime show while keeping her on hand at CBS News. It rescinded its offer in the past few weeks, said an insider, but retains the right to match any outside offer presented to Couric until her contract runs out in June. So far, it hasn’t waived that right, which could drag out any talks that Couric is involved in, as CBS is allowed to wait a limited amount of time before making a counteroffer. Couric could also wait until June to finalize an outside offer to avoid disclosing the details to her current employer.