A rep for Katie Couric pushed back on fresh rumours that the “CBS Evening News” anchor will likely depart from the network.
“There’s a lot of speculation, but nothing new to report,” said the spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik.
Asked specifically about a report in Friday’s New York Post that “Friends of Couric are saying the chances of her remaining at CBS are getting slimmer,” and that “CNN appears especially eager to sign” her, Hiltzik replied: “Katie’s very proud of her team at CBS and their shared success of winning more Emmy’s than any other news programs.”
There have been rumours for the past two years that Couric, whose current CBS contract is up in May, might jump to CNN. The Post’s Michael Shaine floated them on Friday in the context of comments made earlier this week by CBS CEO Les Moonves and Jeff Bewkes, the CEO of CNN’s parent company, Time Warner.
During a lecture at the University of Texas on Wednesday, Moonves said: “The Katie Couric deal will be the last big deal of that kind ever done. … Those days are over.” Couric reportedly makes $16 million a year at CBS, which she joined in 2006.
Asked by Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto about Moonves’ remark, Bewkes said: “I think there is plenty of health in TV news, including at CNN … to pay for not only the best coverage in terms of news gathering but also some of the biggest talents in news.”
It’s worth noting that it was Shaine who reported in June that Couric had turned down Larry King’s job at CNN and that she was “in serious talks to stay at CBS.”
But he’s not the only one to renew speculation recently that Couric might be headed for the door. In early September, The Daily Beast’s Rebecca Dana laid out Couric’s career prospects in a piece that claimed CBS News is in “collapse.”
As Shaine notes, “If Couric does elect to leave CBS, it is likely she would not take much time off before getting a new job. The 2012 presidential campaign begins in earnest next fall and, say friends, she wants to be on the air somewhere before the Iowa caucuses.”
Two CNN spokespeople had not responded to a request for comment by the time we published this item.
UPDATE – CNN declined to comment.
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