By Jay Bobbin
Her new program may carry her name, but Katie Couric maintains her new talk show “isn’t all about me.” The television veteran follows her tenures as co-anchor of NBC’s Today and anchor and managing editor of CBS Evening News with her own talk show, as the syndicated Katie begins its weekday run Monday, Sept. 10. Many days, the hour will deal with a single topic, and two or three on other days … but Couric says the entire series will reflect her desire for “smart conversation” about widely relatable subjects she has her own experiences with, from caring for an aging parent to learning about cancer.
“There are no guarantees in this business,” she allows, “but I do think Jeff (Zucker, the show’s executive producer, who also worked with Couric on ‘Today’) and I have a good track record. We work really well together, and I hope when people hear our names, they’ll think about quality television — and a certain sensibility and approach that is intelligent.”
Though appearances by the famous will be in the “Katie” mix, Couric is eager to showcase the achievements of people not as well-known. “I’ve always been drawn to stories of everyday people who have overcome obstacles in their lives, and have been put in situations they never envisioned. And have been able to get to the other side. Those are some of the most memorable interviews for me and, I think, some of the most moving for an audience.”
For all the milestones she’s had, Couric reasons the launch of Katie is “its own animal. This is not my first rodeo, and I’m not the fresh-faced young woman I was when I was named co-anchor of ‘Today.’ That was probably one of the watershed moments of my career, because I never in a million years envisioned having that job. It seemed surreal to me, but going into the talk-show genre seems like a very natural progression of events for me.”