With the end of “Oprah” earlier this year, syndicators are wasting no time in filling that void for stations. So Disney-ABC is already ramping up to pitch the show to stations and advertisers, and has put together a package of marketing materials. The name of Couric’s new syndicated talker will be, simply, “Katie.” It premieres in fall 2012 and is part of her deal with the network that includes interviews, anchoring specials and special events coverage. She left CBS News as the “CBS Evening News” anchor in May.
The eight ABC-Owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh/Durham and Fresno, which represent nearly 23% of the nation’s TV households, have already cleared the new show in the 3:00 pm time slot. ABC is also set to return the last hour of its Daytime network block to affiliates no earlier than 9/12.
The show is said to be serious at times, but in general informative and fun. It’s not going to be a news show, but Katie will be talking about the news and issues people and families care about, i.e. bullying or the effect technology has on our kids.
Disney/ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney told The Hollywood Reporter in June: “It might be a profile of a navy seal after Osama Bin Laden has been killed; it might talk about women in the military and some of the stresses they experience in reentry with their families.
Former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker serves as executive producer. Social media and interactivity will be a big part of the show. Disney-ABC is currently building out a few websites for the program, including TalkToKatie.com.