April 4, 2011 / 12:53 PM / in 7 years

Katie Couric weighs options after news anchor

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric is weighing several options to take her career in a new direction when her contract ends, including a possible daytime talk show, a source who knew of her plans said on Monday.

Couric, 54, became the first female solo anchor of a U.S. weekday network evening news broadcast in 2006. Her five-year contract expires in early June, and her future career plans have been the subject of media reports for several weeks.

The anchor has been unable to raise “CBS Evening News” out of third place in ratings for nightly news programs where competition is tight with rivals NBC and ABC.

If she leaves “Evening News” for a syndicated talk show, it would likely be a daytime program with a launch in September 2012, said a source familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity because of the fluid nature of the discussions.

Couric could also continue contributing to signature CBS News program “60 Minutes” or the network’s “Early Show,” this source said.

Couric told the New York Times in an article posted online on Monday that she has been in discussions with Jeff Zucker, the former president and CEO of NBCUniversal, about the possibility of her hosting a syndicated show. “We talk a lot and, yes, we’ve been discussing the possibilities,” she said.

CBS declined to comment on reports about Couric’s future career plans.

“We’re having ongoing discussions with Katie Couric,” said CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair in a statement.

“We have no announcements to make at this time. Until we do, we will continue to decline comment on rumor and speculation,” the statement said.

Couric’s spokesman Matthew Hiltzik said, “Katie’s proud of her team’s award-winning accomplishments at CBS, but has not made any decision about her future.”

Couric was co-anchor of NBC News’ “Today” morning talk show for 15 years before she took over as anchor of “CBS Evening News.”

Additional reporting by Lauren Keiper in Boston; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Greg McCune

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