Many people were surprised when Katie Couric left her position as the anchor of the CBS Evening News in 2006. So, why did she do it? According to Couric, she wanted to spend more time with her family and pursue other opportunities.
Checkout this video:
Katie Couric’s early life and career
Katie Couric was born in Arlington, Virginia, on January 7, 1957. Her father, John Martin Couric, Jr., was a public relations executive and power broker in the Washington, D.C., area. Her mother, Elinor Tullie (née Heneghan), was a homemaker. She has two older siblings: John III (a former ABC News producer who died in 2015) and Clara. Couric attended Arlington Public Schools: Jamestown Elementary, Williamsburg Middle School, and Yorktown High School. In 1975, she graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in American studies.
Couric began her broadcasting career in 1979 as a desk assistant at ABC News’ Washington bureau. She then spent a few years as a general-assignment reporter for WPEC-TV (now WFLA-TV), an ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida. During her time at WPEC-TV, she also frequently filled in as a co-anchor on the station’s evening news program and occasionally served as the weekend weather anchor. In 1981, Couric moved to WTVJ-TV (now WPLG) in Miami, where she worked as a general assignment reporter and weekend weather anchor until 1983. That year she joined NBC’s network news operation as an entry-level general assignment reporter based in Washington D.C., where she filled gaps for Tom Brokaw on The Today Show and for John Palmer on Nightly News when they were off or went on assignment
Katie Couric’s time at the Today Show
After 15 years at the Today Show, Katie Couric’s time came to an end. She had been the show’s main host since Matt Lauer joined in 1997, and she was widely credited with helping to keep the Today Show’s ratings high during that time.
However, Couric’s time at the Today Show was not without its challenges. In 2006, she was criticized for her on-air treatment of a guest who had criticized the Iraq War, and in 2007, she was accused of making an on-air joke about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama that some viewers found to be racially insensitive.
Still, Couric remained a popular figure on the Today Show, and her departure in 2006 was seen as a major loss for the show. In the years since her departure, Couric has gone on to host her own daytime talk show, Katie, and she currently works as a global news anchor for Yahoo News.
The events leading up to Katie Couric’s departure from the Today Show
In 2006, Katie Couric’s contract with the Today Show was coming to an end, and she was reportedly offered $130 million by NBC to stay. However, Couric ultimately decided to leave the Today Show, and in May of that year, it was announced that she would be joining CBS News as the anchor of the CBS Evening News.
There were several factors that led to Couric’s departure from NBC. First and foremost, she was reportedly “fed up” with changes that had been made to the Today Show during her time there, including the addition of a new co-host, Ann Curry. Additionally, Couric was said to be unhappy with the fact that she was being paid less than her male counterparts at NBC News.
CBS News offered Couric a chance to anchor the CBS Evening News, which she accepted. Her first day on the job was September 5th, 2006. She became the first woman to solo anchor a major network evening newscast.
Katie Couric’s post-Today Show career
After leaving the Today Show, Katie Couric had a number of different roles in the media world. She hosted her own daytime talk show, Katie, for three seasons. Couric also served as a global news anchor for Yahoo! News and as a special correspondent for ABC News. In 2018, she launched her own podcast, Katie Couric Media.