×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Katie Couric turns on charm at NATPE

Jeff Zucker, host talk up syndie yakker at confab

Amid a charm offensive at the NATPE confab, Katie Couric and Jeff Zucker seemed to be enjoying each other’s company as much as the balmy weather in Miami on Monday.

Disney-ABC Domestic TV’s syndie yakker “Katie,” starring the former and produced by the latter, has been sold in 93% of the country, so at this point their priorities are to get station managers excited about the show bowing in the fall.

“I’m shaking babies and kissing hands,” said Zucker, the former NBCUniversal topper at the show’s NATPE suite in the Fontainebleau Resort.

“Shaken-baby syndrome will be our first show,” deadpanned Couric.

While Couric is part of the ABC News team in addition to her duties on “Katie,” she said the new talkshow is far and away her biggest priority. “I think once this show starts, this will obviously take precedent,” she told Variety. “I’m happy to contribute when I can and sometimes repurpose things — maybe interviews that I’m doing on my show — and promote them on other ABC properties, but that’s still being worked out, because I think it’s really going to take my full time and attention.”

As details are settled, Disney-ABC is hoping the show will find a natural home as a strong afternoon lead-in to local news programs. Couric said she’s anxious to get back in the driver’s seat on a show with more person-to-person contact on camera. “As much as I appreciated and enjoyed doing the evening news (on CBS), I really felt like I missed the connection I had every day with the viewers,” she said. “(When I was at ‘Today’) people used to come up to me and say, ‘I feel like I know you,’ and I’d say, ‘Well, you do!'”

The pair said the show will incorporate social media as much as possible. “Being a syndicated show that airs in different time zones makes it a little trickier, but you can certainly use all the different digital tools to incorporate viewers’ questions and responses and thoughts, although perhaps not 100% in real time,” Zucker said; Couric said they’ll try to get as close as possible.

Zucker, too, is anxious to get back to the daily grind. “I’ve told a lot of people I spent the first half of my career as a producer and the second half as an executive, and the first half was more fun,” he said.

More TV

  • Natalie Morales76th Annual Golden Globe Awards,

    Natalie Morales to Exit 'Access Hollywood' and 'Access Live' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Natalie Morales is bowing out of NBC’s “Access Hollywood” and “Access Live” after three years as co-host of the daily entertainment news programs. Morales will continue working for NBC News as West Coast anchor for “Today” and as a correspondent for “Dateline.” Her departure comes a month after “Access” underwent an executive producer shuffle with [...]

  • CBS News Sets Global 'Earth Matters'

    CBS News Sets Global 'Earth Matters' Reporting Effort for Earth Day

    CBS News is sending correspondents to far corners of the earth for an all-day “Earth Matters” reporting effort to kick off Monday on “CBS This Morning.” To coincide with Earth Day, five correspondents will be spread among five continents to offer in-depth reports on environmental issues and the politics in the U.S. surrounding the response [...]

  • JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: GAME NIGHT -

    Jimmy Kimmel Sets 'All in the Family,' 'The Jeffersons' Live Special on ABC

    Jimmy Kimmel’s long-gestating live sitcom special is finally coming to fruition. Kimmel announced Thursday night on his ABC late-night show that the special, which was first announced in May 2017, will air Wednesday, May 22, from 8-9:30 p.m. ET. The special will see a cast of celebrity guests recreating two classic episodes of the sitcoms [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92% of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92% of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good [...]

  • The Village

    NBC Swaps Timeslots of Freshman Drama 'The Village,' 'The Voice' on Tuesdays

    NBC is changing the timeslots of Tuesday shows “The Voice” and “The Village.” Up to this point, freshman scripted drama “The Village” has aired at 9 p.m. ET Tuesdays immediately after “The Voice” at 8 p.m. Beginning April 23, “The Village” will air at 8 followed by “The Voice” at 9. The schedule will remain [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content