After more than three decades in the TV news business, and 15 years on the “Today Show,” Katie Couric is no stranger to the staffing dramas of morning news.
The news anchor expressed sympathy for Kelly Ripa, who hasn’t appeared on “Live with Kelly and Michael” since last Wednesday when her co-host Michael Strahan announced he was leaving for “Good Morning America.” Ripa was reportedly blindsided by the news and angry she was kept out of the loop.
“Clearly feelings were hurt and clearly she wasn’t included in the process,” Couric said. “Transitions are incredibly tricky, and they have to be managed carefully, especially when people have relationships with people on television. They feel like they are a part of their family. So it can be extremely sensitive.”
Couric directed her remarks to a scrum of reporters Sunday at the annual Matrix Awards luncheon presented by New York Women in Communications, but only delivered her assessment after schooling journalists on the right way to ask questions.
“Can we do all this at once you guys? I know you are pretty much going to ask the same question,” Couric said, deciding to make the occasion a teachable moment.
“First of all, come up with a better question than, ‘Any thoughts [on Kelly and Michael?]’ For you all, as reporters, think of an interesting way to ask a question…because ‘any thoughts’ means you haven’t really thought about it yourselves,” Couric instructed.
The face of Yahoo’s Global News may not have been so impressed with party reporters, but she sang Ripa’s praises.
“I think Kelly is obviously the consummate professional,” Couric said. “If I know her she’ll be very honest with the audience, because it is the elephant in the room, in the studio, and hopefully they will just move forward. She will survive, Michael will survive, the show must go on, and it will all work out.”