Exiting CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric now appears headed for a deal at ABC, according to sources familiar with the talks.
There is still an offer on the table for Couric to stay at CBS with a syndicated talk show and a role on the newsmagazine show 60 Minutes. But ABC has made a big push for a Couric talk show plus even wider exposure across its network news platforms, including a presence on its 2012 presidential election coverage and prime time specials. CBS News is not willing to match that end of the offer. NBC, which had expressed interest, is no longer in the running.
One person close to Couric described the ABC move as "a distinct possibility."
Sources say CBS News insiders initially accepted the idea of having Couric keep a role in the division, but have grown weary with the drawn-out negotiation process. "They are ready to wish her well," says one person close to the talks.
"No comment," says a spokesman at ABC News.
Couric is expected to officially confirm her departure from The CBS Evening News this week, with no announcement on her next move. 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley will be named as her successor on the evening newscast. Couric has been in the job since September 2006.
ABC's last minute surge to get Couric may be driven by the loss of The Oprah Winfrey Show on its owned and operated TV stations. "They are still in the station business," says one industry insider. "They are not going to go with those new daytime shows after killing their soaps and losing Oprah, leading into the evening news and prime time."
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