Katie Couric has an official ABC News show, but it's not on television. Instead, the former Today and CBS Evening News anchor will host a digital program, Katie's Take, on Yahoo, which partnered with ABC News last year. It's the first ABC News program with Couric as headliner.
Bill Weir and Christiane Amanpour have produced video blogs for the site, but this will be a different model, according to Joe Ruffolo, svp of ABC News Digital. It will have its own page within Yahoo.
Katie's Take will be one of the shows Yahoo rolls out this afternoon during its NewFront event—one of several upfront-style ad buyer presentations designed to more or less ask buyers to move a chunk of their TV dollars over to digital as that market expands into programming models similar to those on television.
Yahoo is hoping the addition of traditional TV news vets like Couric and the rest of the ABC News crew will add some flavor to its content, which is mostly aggregated. "It's given us more editorial voice and personality," said Yahoo vp of video programming Erin McPherson. Presumably, Yahoo and ABC News hope that if launch sponsor Nestlé is seen advertising its Poland Spring brand on Katie's Take as the starter pistol is fired, other companies will see the program as a good advertising opportunity.
Couric left CBS News last year and signed a multi-year contract with ABC for a reported $40 million to create a syndicated talk show with producer Jeff Zucker (fomerly head of NBCUniversal) and become part of the ABC News talent pool. Couric filled in on ABC's Good Morning America earlier this month to much fanfare, just before the ABC show beat out ratings rival Today in total viewers last week—the first such victory since 1995.
ABC News president Ben Sherwood said that Couric's main focus would still be the syndicated show, which launches in October, but that she'd continue to appear on ABC's properties without headlining a particular program. "She'll participate in our political coverage as we get closer to the elections," said Sherwood. "But [with the syndicated show,] she's got a real full-time job."