Katie Couric signs deal for ABC talk show

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Katie Couric has signed a multi-year deal with ABC television to host and produce her own syndicated daytime talk show starting in September 2012, ABC said on Monday.

Couric, 54, will also contribute to other ABC News programs starting this summer, anchoring specials and contributing interviews, the Disney/ABC Television Group said in a statement.

The daytime show is as yet untitled but will be produced by Jeff Zucker – Couric’s old boss from her days as host of NBC’s top-rated morning show “Today”.

Couric, known as “America’s Sweetheart”, ended a five-year stint on May 19 as anchor of rival network “CBS Evening News”. On her appointment in 2006, she was the first woman to serve as a solo U.S. network evening news anchor.

Couric worked for ABC early in her career. She said it was “tremendously exciting to have the creative freedom to develop my own show with Anne Sweeney, the Disney/ABC TV Group and Jeff, and to contribute to such a vibrant, innovative news division.”

ABC gave no details about the new talk show but Couric said earlier this year she was looking for a format that would allow “more multi-dimensional storytelling” than in her job as CBS news anchor.

The new daytime series will be based in New York. Eight ABC affiliates have cleared their 3pm slots for the new show in September 2012, ABC said.

Couric, one of the best-known personalities on U.S. television, arrived at the CBS evening news show in 2006 in a blaze of publicity. But despite winning a number of awards — and famously interviewing a stumbling Sarah Palin in 2008 — she never managed to lift the newscast out of its third place in the ratings war with rivals NBC and ABC.

Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, called Couric “one of television’s iconic figures.”

“We look forward to having Katie join the best News team in the business, and to working with her to create a dynamic and successful talk show franchise,” Sweeney added in a statement on Monday.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Christine Kearney)

Source: Reuters US Online Report Entertainment News

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