TMZ report: Katie Couric set to sign with ABC


According to unidentified sources cited by TMZ, Katie Couric is in the final stages of a deal with ABC that would give her a daily talk show and also have her do some specials, reporting and anchoring for ABC News. She and business partner Jeff Zucker (pictured together) would reportedly be guaranteed $20 million for the first year of the talk show.

Although Couric is leaving the anchor chair at CBS News and Scott Pelley has been named as her successor, CBS still has a contractual right to match any offer from ABC or elsewhere until Couric’s contract expires June 4th. She and Zucker had reportedly talked with CBS as well about a talk show – and CBS Television Distribution is the biggest syndicator in the business. But the rumor mill says it has become less likely that she will stay with CBS.

Where would the ABC-syndicated talker, beginning in September 2012, go in the daytime schedule? TMZ says one possibility is that ABC would cancel its last daytime soap opera, General Hospital, and return the 3:00 pm ET/2:00 PT time slot to its affiliates. That would free up the hour for syndicated product. Of course, there’s also the possibility that one of the shows replacing two canceled soaps could flop and free up an hour of daytime.