April 4th, 2011
09:51 AM ET
There's plenty of speculation that Katie Couric is departing "CBS Evening News" to focus on another gig, but the network tells CNN it's still in talks with the 54-year-old journalist.
The Associated Press reported that Couric is vacating her post less than five years after joining the ranks and becoming the first woman to anchor an evening newscast solo.
Her contract with CBS doesn’t expire until June 4, but there’s talk that Couric is planning to launch a syndicated talk show in 2012.
According to CBS, however, the network is having "ongoing discussions with Katie Couric,” a spokesperson tells CNN. “We have no announcements to make at this time. Until we do, we will continue to decline comment on rumor and speculation.”
Update, 4/4 3:40 p.m.: And yet, in an interview with the New York Times magazine, Couric says that the chatter about a new talk show does have some truth to it.
She’s also the first to admit that she doesn’t view anchoring a broadcast as a lifelong proposition. "I think maybe that could have been truer 10 or 20 years ago than it may be today," she explains. "Everyone who does this job appreciates the fact that it’s still an important venue, but it is a declining genre in some ways in terms of how people consume news."
The habits of the evening news audience, she goes on, also move quite slowly, which could explain why "CBS Evening News" has remained in third place. "I believe we were in third place for 13 years before I got here," Couric says, "and I think habits, particularly with an evening news broadcast, move at a glacial pace."
Couric adds, “I think that local news stations have something to do with it...Some people have said that local news is really important in terms of lead-ins. I haven’t really analyzed that," she tells the Times. "I’m just saying what I’ve read or some of the theories about it."
Still, in retrospect, "I would have given people what they were used to, a traditional newscast. And then as they got to know me and got more comfortable, then I would’ve started toying with the format and trying new things," she says. “I think we were overly ambitious. We probably would have been better off playing it a little safer."
And about that much-rumored syndicated talk program, Couric says that she’s "been discussing the possibilities." If a show were to materialize, "Hopefully [it will be known] for smart conversation," she adds.
What do you think the former "Today" show host will do?
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