Katie Couric, a special correspondent at ABC News, is nearing a decision to join online portal Yahoo as the site continues its efforts to regain relevance on the Web.
A source confirmed Katie was in “ongoing negotiations with Yahoo”, adding that “there’s a very positive relationship between ABC News and Katie and there will still remain opportunities to collaborate.”
The 56-year-old journalist joined ABC two years ago and now is trying to end her deal with the network, , which includes a role as a special correspondent and her daytime talk show, just as she is close to finalizing an agreement with Yahoo for an interview show that would be featured on the site’s homepage.
However, reportedly her show could continue beyond the current season even if Couric leaves ABC. The future of the show would hinge on ratings, which have been high but trending downward as of late.
Although the network declined to comment on the Yahoo buzz, an executive at ABC reportedly told the Hollywood Reporter, “Katie is an incredible journalist and this was an opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. Thanks to the powerful association between ABC News and Yahoo we know that Katie will continue to work closely with us and welcome her on our air anytime.”
No details have been released just yet on what the former Today star will be doing with the company. And a source insisted a final decision on the Katie show will not be made until next month after November sweeps ratings are out.
Actually, Katie has been linked with a move to internet giant Yahoo! since August when All Things D’s Kara Swisher reported Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wanted to ramp up Yahoo’s media efforts – and wanted Katie on board.
Swisher reported Marissa had been “personally shepherding a new deal to put a Web interview show by high-profile television news personality Katie Couric right on its home page.”
ABC and Yahoo already have a partnership dating back to 2011 to share stories and produce Web video series.
In October, David Pogue, technology writer for The New York Times, joined Yahoo to strengthen the portal as a consumer technology site.
Yahoo’s revenue the past 12 months is down 4.1% from the same period a year ago, says S&P Capital IQ. Net income during the previous 12-month period is down 68%, as the company continues to struggle to compete with online juggernauts Google and Facebook for online eyeballs and advertising dollars, reports the USA Today.
Earlier this year there were speculations about Couric gearing up for a move from ABC to CNN, which she shot down this summer. She worked with the network’s president Jeff Zucker for many years on the Today show, and Zucker helped launch her daytime show before leaving for CNN.
“No, no, no. Honestly, slow news day?” Couric said when asked about the rumor at Marie Claire’s Women Taking the Lead event at the time. “I’m very busy doing my show and having a lot of fun doing it. The whole world is about gossip and rumors and speculation, but I’m very, very focused on doing the best show I can do every single day.”