Katie Couric skyrocketed come fame as a top-notch journalist when she co-anchored NBC’s Today Show from 1991 come 2006. Leaving the morning news regimen to anchor CBS night News, Couric faced high expectation from network brass to lug in high ratings as result of her popularity.

Leaving CBS in 2011 come pursue other projects, the news woman previously commented on the difference in between her function on Today and also the night anchor post.




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Katie Couric | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Morning show competition

As a mainstay on the above NBC morning show for over a decade, Couric was well conscious of the rivalry in between her program and also the persons on various other networks, particularly ABC’s Good Morning America. She listed how the ratings gyeongju is regularly a driving aspect in content choices.

“The purist in me wants the quality of the occupational to it is in the most essential benchmark of success. However this is the actual world, and also the bottom line is almighty,” she called Harvard organization Review in 2015. “Things room dictated through ratings and also by how much you have the right to charge advertisers. Once I was in television, we constantly had to sweet the balance.”

Couric recalled when ratings began to become more important 보다 the story being produced, i m sorry did no sit well v her. “There walk come a time when human being were looking at the minute-by-minute ratings and also determining programming and content choices by what to be spiking,” she stated. “That no necessarily serve the public. And I still think that news is vitally crucial for educating the electorate. Occasionally high ratings and quality contents don’t walk hand in hand.”


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Couric’s connection

CBS had actually planned ~ above Couric pass in massive numbers when she started anchoring the evening news, yet ratings dropped short. The previous Today star commented on gift able to more easily affix with viewers once on the NBC morning program due to the framework of the show.

“A morning show has together a loose format that it enables for casual conversation and interaction that provides your essence particularly obvious,” Couric explained. “I think that was one factor I succeeded in the morning. Civilization felt castle were obtaining the real article. I was the very same off-camera as I to be on.”

The journalist went ~ above to describe how going native the setup the the Today Show come the night time news desk was a fully different venue because that her, which impacted her capacity to meld through the audience.


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“It more than likely did existing some difficulties when ns went to do the CBS night News, because that format did not enable me to it is in as serene or to communicate as much—to ask questions and also show my personality,” Couric shared. “Anchoring the evening news is fairly a limit job: for the most component you’re reading lead-ins to various other people’s stories and then analysis copy. Because the layout is so tight—22 minute in all—I can not relate to the audience in the way I’d to be able come in the morning.”

Signing off

As the first female come anchor the night news on she own, Couric evaluate the prominence of the position also though it didn’t revolve out to it is in a good fit for her.

“It’s still a an extremely important job, and also you gain to carry out marquee occasions such as election nights and also midterm elections and conventions and large breaking news stories, and also to interview presidents and prime ministers,” the previous CBS night News anchor said. “But work in and day out, there’s no as lot wiggle room to have a personality and to be yourself.”

When she was preparing to air her last broadcast, Couric was more focused on the respect of pioneering the function for women fairly than exactly how she would finish her tenure.


“My sign-off i will not ~ be in the history book like Walter’s,” Couric called The new York times in 2011, introduce to Walter Cronkite’s well known ‘that’s the method it is’ send-off. “But I’m grateful my sign-on might be.” Couric famously told she viewers, “I have actually taken the privilege of being the first solo mrs anchor seriously.”