Couric Out?

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CBS has attempted to shoot down a flurry of new reports that its news division will replace Katie Couric as anchor of the CBS Evening News following the presidential inauguration in January. The reports, which cited CBS news executives and persons close to Couric, appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post and were quickly picked up by other newspapers and wire services. However, a spokesperson for the CBS Evening News said late Wednesday that it has "no p lans for any changes regarding Katie or the broadcast." In a separate statement, Couric did not directly address the report but said that she was "working hard and having fun" and is "very proud of the show we put on every day." The Post disclosed tha t CBS Chairman Les Moonves and CBS News President Sean McManus have been involved in the discussions with Couric and quoted sources as saying that they will not make a final decision concerning Couric until late summer at the earliest and that they would likely offer her a syndicated talk show or a full-time role on 60 Minutes, presumably at less pay. Currently Couric receives $15 million a year to anchor the third-place newscast. While the Journal suggested that "Couric could survive if a major news event lifted the newscast's ratings or some other shift occurred at CBS," the Post said that network executives now "recognize that a significant improvement in the ratings is unlikely."



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