Katie Couric Joins Yahoo as Global Anchor, to Host Interview Series

TV news personality and jounalist to help develop web portal's news team and host monthly interviews starting in 2014

Katie Couric is shifting focus to even smaller screens: Yahoo officially announced her hire as “global anchor,” making the Internet the primary platform for the talkshow host and journalist after 34 years on TV.

Couric, 56, will help develop Yahoo News’ global coverage starting in early 2014 and is set to host a monthly interview series with newsmakers for Yahoo. Her role at the company, however, is still a work in progress.

“It’s very exciting to be a part of a leading company at the intersection of content and technology,” Couric said in a statement. “I have great admiration for (Yahoo CEO) Marissa Mayer and her team and their commitment to bringing news, entertainment and information to the Yahoo community across multiple platforms. Joining Yahoo offers a tremendous opportunity to reach people all around the world in the way that they’re using and consuming media today.”

Word of her move to Yahoo leaked late last week. Mayer, who personally courted Couric, said in a statement that “Katie’s depth of experience, her intellectual curiosity and her charisma make her the perfect choice to anchor Yahoo News and the whole Yahoo Network.”

“Her unmatched energy, savvy and versatility enables her to connect with audiences across the globe,” Mayer continued. “News is a definitive daily habit for our users — and Katie will work with our talented editorial team to pioneer a new chapter of digital journalism.”

Couric spent 15 years at NBC’s “Today” and anchored “CBS Evening News” from 2006 to 2011. In moving to Yahoo, the TV star has negotiated an early exit from her deal with ABC News where she has been a “special correspondent” as part of her pact with Disney, which distributes her daytime talkshow “Katie.”

For now, Couric will continue to host “Katie.” According to Disney-ABC Domestic Television, a decision on whether to renew the daily syndie for a third season is pending but industry sources expect the show to be canceled.

SEE ALSO: Katie Couric’s Bad Bet: Leaving ABC News for Yahoo

For Yahoo, Couric’s brand of likeable chattiness and her TV bona fides could invigorate the Internet company’s video business, which has declined over the past year.

Yahoo already features Couric on its website: As part of a distribution partnership with ABC News, Yahoo runs weekly clips from her talkshow under the “Katie’s Take” banner. As anchor of “CBS Evening News,” she also had an online-only interview web series dubbed “@katiecouric.”

Mayer has recently recruited other high-profile content talent including tech journalist David Pogue and New York Times editor Megan Liberman.

Couric’s move to the web can be viewed as a step down for her in the media food chain — and, at the same time, as a reflection of the growing appetite among Internet players like Yahoo to secure exclusive, high-value programming with a traditional-media pedigree.

But it remains to be seen how well Couric will play online, given that her appeal skews to older, femme viewers. In her Twitter profile, she describes herself as a “nail-biting, piano-playing, poetry-reading, shoe-loving, show-tune-singing mother daughter fiancée.”

Other TV news personalities who have jumped to the Internet include former CNN star Larry King, who hosts weekly talkshows distributed by Ora TV, and conservative firebrand Glenn Beck, who sells subscriptions to TheBlaze TV online programming for $9.95 per month.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • A view of the SK Telecom

    Korean Regulators Approve Four-Way Streaming Merger

    South Korean regulators have approved the merger of the video services of three local broadcasters and SK Telecom’s streaming app Oksusu. The new service, operating under the name Wavve will launch in September and be Korea’s largest. Proposed in January as a measure to combat the incursion of international video players, the deal was given [...]

  • siriusxm on playstation

    SiriusXM Announces $4 Streaming Plan for Students

    SiriusXM took another step towards taking its subscription service past the car Tuesday: The company announced a new student subscription tier that gives eligible college students access to music and talk radio stations on their mobile and connected devices for $4 per month. Some of the content available for this price includes SiriusXM’s more than [...]

  • Mission - Impossible - 1996

    Stan Australian Streamer Inks Content Deal With Paramount

    Stan, the Australian streaming video firm owned by Nine Entertainment, has signed a content supply deal with Paramount Pictures. The multi-year agreement adds to Stan’s line up of arrangements with Hollywood suppliers that already includes MGM, Disney, and Lionsgate. Subscription video has taken off hugely in Australia, where there are now an estimated 12.3 million [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    ‘Good Boys’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Good Boys.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.42 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Janice Lee

    Asian Streamer Viu Adds Wattpad Development Deal

    Multi-territory Asian video streaming service Viu has struck an original content deal with tech-driven story firm Wattpad. Together they aim to develop film and TV series under the Viu Original label. Canada-based Wattpad hosts a vast library of user-generated stories, with a claimed user base of 80 million, including 22 million in the Asia Pacific [...]

  • Oculus Go Product Shot

    Former Oculus Head of Mobile VR Max Cohen Leaves Facebook

    Early Oculus staffer Max Cohen, who at one point led mobile product for the VR unit, has left Facebook this week, Variety has learned. Cohen’s departure is just the latest staff defection for Facebook’s VR team, which recently also lost its head of VR product, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment. [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Reportedly to Stop Targeting Ads in Videos for Children

    YouTube is finalizing a plan under which it would no longer serve targeted ads in videos that are popular with kids, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources. The move is intended to appease U.S. regulators that have been investigating whether YouTube violated privacy laws that prohibit online services from collecting data on children, according to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content