Katie Couric aims for humanity, intelligence in TV talk show

Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:36pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Katie Couric said on Thursday she hopes to bring "humanity and intelligence" to her new daytime talk show, but acknowledged she would have to re-acquaint viewers with the softer side she showed in her 15 years on NBC's "Today" show.

Calling herself a "natural born extrovert," Couric told television reporters at a gathering of critics in Beverly Hills that she was looking forward to interacting with a live studio audience in her new syndicated show "Katie" - a lifestyle program aimed mostly at women.

Couric, 55, launches her daytime TV venture on September 10, more than a year after ending a controversial stint as the first solo female anchor of a U.S. nightly network news broadcast on "CBS Evening News."

"Obviously there is a need to re-familiarize myself and who I am in terms of being natural, spontaneous, interactive and a more casual, less formal journalist. When I did the 'CBS Evening News' I didn't have that opportunity to show both sides of myself," Couric said.

Couric is jumping into daytime TV on the same day three other personalities - Ricki Lake, Jeff Probst and Steve Harvey - launch shows to fill the void left by influential chat queen Oprah Winfrey, who ended her daytime TV run in May 2011 after 25 years on air.

Couric dismissed suggestions she may have left her old job a little late and should have moved into daytime TV sooner.

"I couldn't really do it any earlier because I was doing 'CBS Evening News' until May last year ... I am happy to have a year grace period," she said.

"With Oprah exiting the stage, it was okay for me to give some time for the landscape to settle before jumping into the fray. So I feel the timing worked really well for me."   Continued...

Host Katie Couric attends a panel for "Katie" during the Disney/ABC Television Group portion of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California July 26, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni