Two new reports on the future of Katie Couric, including a meeting held with ABC News president Ben Sherwood last month, reports the New York Post:
TV news personalities as famous as Couric do not become available very often and [Diane] Sawyer, who flew to Japan over the weekend to anchor the evening newscast from the site of last week’s tsunami disaster, just turned 65 last December. It is not known how long she may want to stay on the job.
An ABC insider confirms Sherwood met once, but is not having ongoing meetings, with Couric. The two worked at NBC News at the same time, though not on the same show.
A second source tells TVNewser the meeting was “serious” and that “there was legitimate interest.”
Besides the fact there is no obvious opening for her at ABC, Couric has discussed the confining nature of the traditional network news model. Which is why she may still go the syndicated route while still being attached to a network with a news division. And for that, a deal with NBC or CBS is more likely. She has relationships with both networks and they each have a powerful syndicated production and distribution infrastructure.
Which brings us to Paige Albiniak‘s story in Broadcasting & Cable in which it is revealed Couric is working with not one, but two former NBC colleagues.
Among Couric’s advisors is Ed Wilson — the founder and former president of NBC Domestic Television Distribution. Wilson, an old friend of Couric’s, is working with Couric and former boss Jeff Zucker on the vagaries of launching a syndicated talk show and associated production company. Wilson did not return calls for comment.
Wilson has been working with Team Couric for a while, according to sources. Retaining Wilson makes sense due to his long history in syndication. In 2000, he launched NBC’s distribution arm, then called NBC Enterprises.
Wilson tried to lure Couric into syndication in 2003, but Couric wasn’t ready to take the leap, so Wilson instead launched a show starring another NBC news personality, Jane Pauley. Pauley’s show only lasted one season, but most syndicated executives think that if anyone has a shot to make it big in daytime, it’s Couric, whose daytime appeal on NBC’s Today show is well known.