Anderson Cooper courtesy CNN, Harry Smith by John Filo/CBS, Diane Sawyer by Ida Mae Astute/ABC
If Katie Couric does leave the CBS Evening News anchor chair, here are the leading candidates to replace her and what they bring to the table.

Harry Smith
Pro: The longtime coanchor of The Early Show, Smith is familiar to the CBS audience and respectful of the news division's tradition.
Con: He's never gotten The Early Show out of third place.

Diane Sawyer
Pro: The popular Good Morning America anchor's contract with ABC News is up in the spring or summer of next year, and would be highly motivated to succeed where Couric failed.
Con: Will CBS News want to invest big bucks again when the evening-newscast audience continues to erode?

Scott Pelley
Pro: A highly respected 60 Minutes correspondent, he was once considered for the anchor job because his intensity was reminiscent of a young Dan Rather.
Con: He reminds people of Dan Rather.

Anderson Cooper
Pro: A leading TV journalist of his generation who could help draw viewers under age 50 to the evening news.
Con: May only be available if CBS News can work out a newsgathering partnership with CNN. (The two networks once had a conversation about CNN producing the evening news with Cooper out front, so don't rule it out.)

David Gregory
Pro: The go-to guy of NBC News is considered one of the best rising young talents in network news.
Con: He's an heir to Matt Lauer's anchor job on Today and NBC isn't likely to let him get away.

Bob Schieffer
Pro: CBS Evening News ratings went up when the chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation moderator filled in after Rather left.
Con: He wants to retire. A return to the anchor chair would only be another short-term solution.

Chris Matthews
Pro: His contract with NBC News is up next year and he could draw cable news viewers who like big personalities.
Con: CBS News has long been dogged by charges of partisanship, and Matthews wouldn't help.

Which of these potential anchors do you think could fit the bill? What would you look for in a Couric replacement?