June 7th, 2011
12:54 PM ET
As soon as word spread that Katie Couric was angling for a daytime talk show – right around the time that Oprah Winfrey was counting down to the last “Oprah” episode – people questioned if Couric was trying to become the new queen of talk TV.
But Couric tells CNN that just the thought of bearing that title makes her antsy.
“Nobody can replace Oprah and it makes me uncomfortable that people are even suggesting that,” she said Monday, the day she announced she’s moving to ABC. Her show will premiere in September 2012, and is currently slated to air at 3 p.m. for eight ABC-owned stations.
“No one will be the cultural icon that Oprah has been and continues to be,” she went on. Couric's daytime program, on the other hand, is “just an opportunity to talk about important issues and have conversations that will hopefully enlighten people and help them lead better lives. It's just a very exciting proposition for me.”
That wasn’t the only “exciting proposition.” What sealed the decision for Couric to make the move were “all the opportunities that were available at ABC,” she told CNN. On top of her daytime show, Couric will also contribute to the network's news programming.
“They have an extraordinary news division and a very talented leader in Ben Sherwood from NBC, and...they have always invested heavily in their local news operations. I respect and admire that so much,” Couric said. “The whole package just seemed to be a great place for me and a wonderful opportunity…I was just anxious to get going and get started, and now that I have signed on the dotted line I'm really excited about the future.”
The 54-year-old also has no regrets about leaving behind the anchor desk at “CBS Evening News.”
"I'm really proud of the work we were able do [with] the entire CBS team over the last 5 years,” she said. “We won so many different awards...the newscast was really strong and impactful and our political coverage got a lot of attention. I have absolutely no regrets. I'm really glad I took on the challenge for five years and I'm excited about moving on to something that will allow me to have lengthier conversations and interact with people, because I really think that is my strong suit."
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