Contract time: Katie Couric, CBS discussing pay cut, expanded role


Still behind ABC and NBC in ratings, the CBS Evening News anchor is in early talks on a new contract with CBS Corp. that could include her taking a pay cut from the current $15 million dollar per year contract and maybe expanding her role there. CBS-TV began meeting with Couric’s agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) early this month. Some news sites are now reporting that both sides agreed Couric must take a pay cut to remain at CBS, others have reported she has not agreed to the cut.

While ratings for nightly news programs on the big three have generally been dropping over the past few years, ratings for Couric have has dropped almost by a quarter since she took over in 2006 – a bigger fall than NBC and ABC.

Reports that she may get an expanded role in the company include possibly producing and hosting a show that CBS might syndicate. She currently does assignments for “60 Minutes” as well as Evening News anchor. Couric is also reportedly being pursued by other syndicators for a daytime talker.

RBR-TVBR observation: Couric will likely keep her iconic anchor job, even with a pay cut. There’s nothing wrong with making it up hosting a daytime talker. But there is a bit of risk involved. Handling both jobs can be tedious and logistically difficult. With the Oprah Network launching 1/1, along with Ellen, Tyra, Martha, The View, The Talk and Rachel Ray still out there battling for eyeballs, there might not be much room for another.