Katie Couric is one of those people who is just fabulous grist for the tabloid mill: her perky persona gives way to behind-the-scenes diva behavior which anonymous staffers love to reveal to the media. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal report that the CBS News anchor may leave her post as early as January was bound to make the front page of our two tabs.
So, who’s leaving whom? If your cursory glance of the paper is the Daily News, then it’s Couric who’s walking out of her 5-year contract early. If you’re perusing the Post, then the headline on page 7 declares, “CBS may throw her overboard.” The Journal report itself is vague on the details, although “leave” could suggest that Couric is forcing the move. It doesn’t help that both Couric and CBS have issued vague statements responding to the story that neither confirm nor deny it.
Chances are this isn’t voluntary, as both papers give a rundown of the gaffes and misfires that the CBS Evening News has suffered since Couric took over in September 2006. The Daily News talks about the low ratings her one-year anniversary show from Iraq garnered, yet puts the show itself in the “highs” category in a sidebar illustrating the best and worst of her tenure at CBS. The Post, meanwhile, takes the history route with a timeline of Couric’s broadcasting career from 1979 to the present.
If this story has legs–and if these rumors are true, it does–we may be in store for a bunch of Hillary Clinton/Katie Couric parallels. I think there are pretty good odds that a newspaper columnist somewhere right now is putting together an “are we really ready for powerful women?” piece. If Couric is leaving, it won’t be until after the presidential inauguration, so this narrative has plenty of time to play out.