Katie Couric is departing Yahoo as its global news anchor and will end her regular interview segments, a move that comes after Verizon completed its $4.5 billion takeover of the internet company last month.
Couric, hired with great fanfare in 2013 by then-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, will continue to work with Oath — the new Verizon division that consolidates AOL and Yahoo — on a project basis. Some of the Yahoo shows she was a part of, such as “Cities Rising” and “Now I Get It,” will continue on Yahoo News.
“Over the last four years, Katie has created a vast portfolio of work that has been equal parts inspiring, thought-provoking and fun to watch,” an Oath rep said in an emailed statement. “We’re proud of everything she has accomplished and look forward to exploring ways to work together in the future.”
The news that Couric was leaving Yahoo was first reported by Recode’s Kara Swisher. According to the report, Couric’s contract expired in March and was renewed through June, whereupon she decided to shift to a project-based relationship with Oath.
When Couric re-upped with Yahoo in 2015, she reportedly received $10 million per year in cash and stock, up from $6 million when she first signed in 2013.
Mayer’s big bet on hiring of Couric was supposed to jump-start Yahoo’s bigger foray into video, which included the company picking up and funding several bigger-budget original series. But the strategy never gained traction, and Mayer pulled the plug on the video effort to focus on bulking up Yahoo’s search business.
Couric previously had a long career in TV, having anchored the CBS Evening News and NBC’s “Today.” Her jump to Yahoo was viewed by some observers as a reflection of the growing importance of internet video in the media landscape. But Couric never seemed to break back into the zeitgeist while at Yahoo News, where she interviewed newsmakers and celebs ranging from Edward Snowden to Sen. Lindsey Graham and from Gal Gadot to Sherry Lansing. While at Yahoo, Couric remained a special contributor to ABC News.
With Verizon’s closing of the Yahoo acquisition last month, Mayer — as expected — left the company. Oath is run by Tim Armstrong, formerly CEO of AOL.