Photo Credit: Heidi Gutman/NBC
After the news broke that Katie Couric was leaving CBS Evening News, where she has been anchor for a tempestuous five years, the speculating began: What would Couric do next? Though Couric claimed to be weighing a number of possibilities, one rumor suggested that she was eying a syndicated talk show with her former Today show cohost Matt Lauer (whose contract with Today is up at the end of 2012).
Now, TMZ is reporting that Couric, 54, is close to signing a whopping $20-million deal with ABC. Under the new contract, which has not been made public yet, Couric would have significant involvement in 20/20 and ABC News specials, as well as her own five-day-a-week talk show. (An ABC source tells TMZ that Lauer is not involved.)
While Couric's potential new deal is great news for her fans, soap-opera addicts might not feel the same way. If Couric does join ABC, the beloved daytime drama General Hospital could face cancellation: Katie's daily chat show would reportedly begin airing in September 2012 -- in the time slot currently occupied by Hospital. Yet another soap opera might be biting the dust? Say it ain't so!
In an interview with Lauer last month, Couric said, "I'm in the middle of figuring out where would be the best place for me, what would be the best job for me. What might appeal to me?"
The $20-million deal with ABC may be just the thing to put Katie back on top, but General Hospital fans can hold off on those tears of mourning -- at least for now. A rep for Couric tells People: "There is a lot of speculation and misinformation out there. But no deal has been reached with any party."