Endgame: Katie Couric out at CBS by summer?

She’ll need to do something special for her final broadcast this summer. The obvious choice: One last interview with Palin. Ratings will be high under any circumstances, but that rematch would send them stratospheric. And in the closing moments, Palin capitalizes — by dropping the bombshell that she’s running for president. As the camera moves in, filling the screen with the stunned, horrified look on Katie’s face, the image slowly fades to black. And that’s the last shot of her on CBS. Epic.

Anyway, she’s out.

The new CBS News chairman, Jeff Fager, is looking at candidates both within and outside the network, insiders say.

One strong contender if Couric vacates the anchor chair in early June, as now seems almost certain, is veteran newsman Scott Pelley. The 60 Minutes correspondent has long been a favorite of Fager, who doubles as the show’s executive producer. But with Fager taking a methodical approach to his first major decision, Pelley is not a lock. A few short weeks ago, the expectation in the Couric camp—after discussions with top CBS management—was that she would sign a new deal to stay in the anchor’s job through the 2012 elections as she figured out the next phase of her career. But the thinking on both sides has now changed as Couric has aggressively tested the waters—and found substantial interest in her services…

Couric told David Letterman this week she has “no idea” what comes next when her five-year deal expires. “I’m figuring out what I want to do,” she said.

Roger L. Simon suggests Megyn Kelly as a replacement. That’d be fun for many reasons, first and foremost the epic tantrums it would inspire on the left, but I don’t know why Kelly would trade her more freewheeling two-hour block on Fox for the drudgery of 22 minutes of ‘prompter reading on CBS. Yes, the pay and ratings would be higher, but her personality would be strangled. Who needs evening news prestige if it means giving up those angry eight-minute shouting matches with Anthony Weiner? She hasn’t even gotten around to calling him a pencil-necked geek yet! No leaving for another network until that happens. Exit question: Who replaces Katie?

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Jazz Shaw 1:01 PM on December 09, 2022