Recent comments by Les Moonves, head of CBS, led TV pundits as well as close friends to predict that it’s likely Katie Couric (above) will leave the anchor chair at "CBS Evening News" for a top spot at CNN when her contract ends next May.
“The Katie Couric deal will be the last big deal of that kind ever done,” Moonves said, referring to the reported $16 million per year Couric earns. “Those days are over. People are getting their news elsewhere. When there were only three networks, you did have that public service component, where we were informing America. Now, there is nothing Katie Couric is saying that everybody doesn’t know already.”
Bets on CNN landing Couric shot up this week in the wake of the disastrous ratings for the cable news channel’s new show featuring former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Countering Moonves’ views, CNN CEO Jeff Bewkes said that CNN has the money to “pay for some of the biggest talent in TV news.”
“There’s plenty of economic health in TV news,” Bewkes said.
If Couric decides to stay at CBS due to her close relationship with Moonves or jump to CNN, expect the announcement long before her May contract is up so she’s set to cover the 2012 presidential campaign.