Couric Joins ABC News

In a move has been anticipated for some weeks, Katie Couric is joining Disney/ABC Television Group to produce and host a daytime talk show that will debut next year. Prior to that, she’s joining ABC News this summer to report for both the broadcast and online outlets.

“While many are familiar with her myriad accomplishments, I’m delighted to remind you that Katie got her start in our business in 1979 as an ABC News desk assistant in our Washington bureau,” ABC News president Ben Sherwood said in a statement.

Publicist Matthew Hiltzik was a member of the Couric “camp” that helped to negotiate her new position. We spoke with Hiltzik for a Media Beat interview last year. You can check it out here.

According to the New York Times, Katie Couric’s Q Score, which measures the popularity of celebrities and personalities, remains “higher than average for television news figures” but has dropped since she started the Evening News. This could prove a big asset as she establishes herself in a “post-Oprah Winfrey” daytime landscape.

“The scrambling to claim Winfrey’s audience has already begun, and sometimes the tactics are tough,” writes the AP.

No matter how the show turns out, people will be closely watching Couric’s contributions over the coming months. And anyone or any brand that manages to get a spot during the premiere of Couric’s show is guaranteed maximum exposure.

It was announced last month that Scott Pelley will replace Couric on the CBS Evening News, starting tonight.