Outgoing "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric says America wasn’t ready for the “overly ambitious” change she brought nearly five years ago as the first woman to helm a nightly network newscast.
“In retrospect I would have given people what they were used to, a traditional newscast,” Couric told The New York Times Magazine. “And then as they got to know me and got more comfortable, then I would’ve started toying with the format and trying new things.”
Couric's interview, which does not go into the specifics of Couric's format tweaks, was originally set to run this weekend. It was released online Monday amid increasing reports the 54-year-old journalist is set to vacate her anchor’s perch when her contract expires on June 4.
Couric confirmed a report in The Hollywood Reporter that she’s been considering launching a syndicated show with one-time boss Jeff Zucker, the former NBC head.
“We talk a lot and, yes, we’ve been discussing the possibilities. That’s true,” she told the Times.
The former “Today” host said her new show would become known “hopefully for smart conversation.”
She’s being courted to bring the program to CBS, NBC or CNN, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
Besides conceding early missteps, Couric also blamed local news lead-ins for her newscast's consistent third-place showing.
“I believe we were in third place for 13 years before I got here, and I think habits, particularly with an evening news broadcast, move at a glacial pace,” she told the Times. “And I think that local news stations have something to do with it.”
She also weighed in on Charlie Sheen, saying she didn’t view the ex-“Two and a Half Men” star as a colleague just because both worked for CBS.