CBS News Chief Expects A Long Evening-News Anchor Tenure For Katie Couric

Thursday, July 12th 2007, 1:29 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ CBS News President Sean McManus dismissed talk that Katie Couric may leave as ``CBS Evening News'' anchor by saying Thursday that he expected her to be doing the job through her full five-year contract.

A candid Couric interview in New York magazine this week renewed questions about Couric's future, leading a prominent blogger to start speculating about who might replace her.

``She has a five-year contract with CBS to anchor the evening news,'' McManus told The Associated Press. ``All of us, including Katie, expect her to be anchoring the evening news in her fifth year.''

Couric began anchoring the evening news last September and the ratings have been a disappointment, with CBS still a distant third behind ABC's ``World News'' and the ``NBC Nightly News.'' After unsuccessfully trying a few new ideas, the CBS program is being revamped under recently arrived veteran producer Rick Kaplan.

CBS News leaders have expressed frustration with New York magazine, which had a picture of Couric on its cover over the quote: ``I have days when I'm like, `Oh my God, what did I do?''' The cover omits the rest of the quote, where she says, ``but for some weird reason, they don't happen that often.''

While Couric in the story denies rumors that she's looking to jump to ``60 Minutes'' full-time, New York says that ``it's obvious that `60 Minutes' best reflects what Couric would like to do.'''

That led the influential industry blog tvnewser to begin posting suggestions this week on who would follow Couric as evening-news anchor. McManus said such speculation is ``insulting and it's absurd.''

He said he wondered why other anchors with ratings troubles _ ``NBC Nightly News'' with Brian Williams has lost viewers and fallen to second place _ aren't the subject of such speculation.

Brian Stelter, editor of the blog, said it's the blog's job to reflect what everyone is talking about.

``Maybe CBS is not thinking about who will succeed her,'' he said, ``but everyone else is.''