Couric leaves Today

Happy anniversary.

Thank you very much.

And now I’m leaving.

Throw in a few moments of reverence, and that’s pretty much how that went down Wednesday morning on the “Today” show.

It started out as a conversation between Matt Lauer and Katie Couric, celebrating her 15th year as an anchor of the “Today” show, where she was the longestserving anchor in the show’s history.

“I think that was like 172 hairstyles ago,” joked Couric.

Then it got more serious, as the suspense built up to what everyone has been speculating over the last couple of weeks.

Lauer asked her if there was anything new.

Couric announced that she is leaving NEC to be the anchor of “CBS Evening News.” Early-risers will no longer be greeted in the morning by her smiling face, but instead come home from a whole day’s work to listen to her report the news.

With a multi-year contract, Couric now becomes the first woman solo anchor of a weekday, network evening newscast.

She also becomes the managing editor of “CBS Evening News,” and will contribute to CBS’s other major news show, “60 Minutes.” On the show, Couric said that it was a difficult decision for her to make, but that, sometimes, change is a good thing.

“So for now, it’s not ‘goodbye,’ at least not yet. But a heartfelt thank you for 15 years,” she said.

Then it was up to her supporting cast of Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry to lighten up the mood.

In a quick throw to Roker for the weather, Roker declared that hell had frozen over. Curry joked that it was like having a sister go off to college.

“I want to make sure you’ve got your toothbrush,” Curry said to Couric.

CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said in a press release that Couric’s presence is a “giant leap forward” for them.

“Katie is simply one of the best in the business, and represents a tremendous addition to CBS news, which continues to grow and improve every day under (Sean McManus’s) leadership.” Couric doesn’t actually make that leap to CBS till September.

Her evening-news competition will be NBC’s Brian Williams and ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas.

ABC’s “The View” co-host Meredith Vieira was just announced yesterday as Couric’s replacement. Vieira spent nine years on “The View” and has won a Daytime Emmy as the host of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Viera is expected to leave “The View” at the end of next month.

Both Couric and Vieira have news backgrounds.

Couric’s broadcast-journalism career began as a desk assistant at ABC News in Washington, D.C. in 1979. She then worked for CNN in the early ’80s as an assignment editor, associate producer, producer and, ultimately, political correspondent.

Couric was a general-assignment reporter for WTVJ Miami after that, and then for WRC-TV Washington, D.C.

Couric was born in Arlington, Va. She graduated with honors from the University of Virginia in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in English and a focus on American studies. Couric lives in New York with her two daughters.

Vieira spent more than 10 years at CBS news, where she earned five Emmy awards for her work as a correspondent for “60 Minutes.” Prior to that, she won four Emmy awards for her work on CBS’s “West 57th” Her early jobs were for WCBS-TV in New York, WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island and WORC-Radio in Worcester, Mass.

I Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipu.bco. corn.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.