A smiling, affable Couric revealed her plans to Jay Leno on the June 6th edition of The Tonight Show. When Leno brought up how the press has spent months speculating about her future, she quipped, "Boring wasn't it?" then went on to announce that she would be returning to network news, working with ABC for the next year by contributing to "various programs and platforms."
However, the big announcement was that starting in the fall of 2012, Couric will be hosting a daytime talk show. Why the wait? "It takes a year to actually to distribute and sell the show to the marketplace," Couric explained. It could also be that the public needs some time to file Oprah Winfrey's legacy away in the archives. Couric certainly wouldn't want anyone accusing her of stepping into Winfrey's shoes. No way.
According to Couric, the format is still in the planning stages but the show will definitely be topical, each installment focusing on a current major news story. She gives the news of bin Laden's death as an example. "If the show was on the air when bin Laden was killed, we might have done a story about the Navy Seals. Who are they? What kind of training is required to be one? Why is the failure rate so high when you're training to be a Seal?"
A single story might run for the entire hour or be just a segment on the show. She promises there will be "fun stuff" too: celebrity interviews with people like Lady Gaga are not beyond the realm of possibility. Basically the show will be a mix of what Oprah did on her show and Couric did on The Today Show. And, like The Today Show, it will air live.
Couric is looking forward to this new endeavor. "Creatively it's such an exciting challenge for me and I think I'm better at interacting and talking to people and synthesizing complicated subjects-I hope-and, you know, doing interviews that require some empathy. On the (CBS) Evening News, it was hard to do that in that very structured format."
A household name like Couric should have no problem pulling in an audience, and the show sounds like it could be an interesting change from the lackluster daytime fare we're used to. We'll definitely be watching.