Friday, December 20, 2013
Katie Couric Talk Show Officially Cancelled
Disney/ABC and Couric insisted it was a mutual decision.“We’re very proud of everyone’s contributions to making Katie the No. 1 new syndicated talk show of 2012-13, “the distributor and star said in a statement, “and we look forward to the rest of the season.” While Couric’s show was the top-rated in total households among the shows that premiered in syndication in the fall of 2012, it has lagged in the key demo of women 25-54. Couric’s show, which was originally launched with Jeff Zucker as executive producer, was one of the most expensive shows in syndication, and the ratings it got did not justify the cost, according to industry analysts. Zucker departed midway through the first season (he's now CNN Worldwide chief), and several other executive producers have come aboard amid rumors of discord behind the scenes. The show also had trouble booking big-name stars, in part because of Couric’s insistence on taking a hard news approach to the interviews, say sources. Couric already has another job with Yahoo!, where she will start in early 2014 as global anchor. She is reportedly being paid $6 million a year, which is even higher than what she made on the talk show, about $5 million a year (part of a guaranteed two-year deal worth $10 million). Couric also had a separate agreement to contribute to ABC News and did some shows for them, but it apparently was never what the network news operation expected. Disney negotiated an early end to that contract last month, which freed Couric to sign with Yahoo! The end of Katie opens up time slots at 3 and 4 p.m. on ABC-owned stations and others in key markets. These are already being coveted by other shows; the stations also may opt to expand news into those time slots. Some stations had already chosen other shows for next fall, which is believed to have contributed to the decision to the show.
Sidebar: It looked so easy when Oprah did it! The more shows get cancelled the more we should respect what Oprah did for 25 years.