Katherine Anne "Katie" Couric
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About Katie Couric
Katherine Anne "Katie" Couric (born January 7, 1957) is an American journalist and author. She serves as special correspondent for ABC News, contributing to ABC World News, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America, This Week and primetime news specials. Since September 10, 2012, she has hosted Katie, a syndicated daytime talk show produced by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. She has anchored the CBS Evening News, reported for 60 Minutes, and hosted Today and reported for Dateline NBC. She was the first solo female anchor of a weekday evening news program on one of the three traditional USA broadcast networks. Couric's first book, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives was a New York Times best-seller.
As of May 2012, Couric also has a web show for ABC News, entitled Katie's Take, airing weekly on Yahoo.
Early life and career
Couric was born in Arlington, Virginia, the daughter of Elinor Tullie (née Hene), a homemaker and part-time writer, and John Martin Couric Jr., a public relations executive and news editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the United Press in Washington, D.C. Her mother was Jewish, but Couric was raised Presbyterian. Couric's maternal grandparents, Bert Hene and Clara L. Froshin, were the children of Jewish immigrants from Germany. In a report for Today, she traced her paternal ancestry back to a French orphan who immigrated to the U.S. in the nineteenth century and became a broker in the cotton business.
Couric attended Arlington Public Schools: Jamestown Elementary, Williamsburg Middle School, and Yorktown High School and was a cheerleader. As a high school student, she was an intern at Washington, D.C. all-news radio station WAVA. She enrolled at her father's alma mater, the University of Virginia, in 1975 and was a Delta Delta Delta sorority sister. Couric served in several positions at UVA's award-winning daily newspaper, The Cavalier Daily. During her fourth year at UVA, Couric was chosen to live as Head Resident (RA) of The Lawn, the heart of Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village. She graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in English with a focus on American Studies.
Couric's first job in 1979 was at the ABC News bureau in Washington, D.C., later joining CNN as an assignment editor. Between 1984 and 1986, she worked as a general-assignment reporter for WTVJ in Miami, Florida. During the following two years, she reported for WRC-TV, the NBC owned-and-operated station in Washington, D.C., work which earned her an Associated Press award and an Emmy.
Couric joined NBC News in 1989 as Deputy Pentagon Correspondent. From 1989 to 1991, Couric was an anchor substitute and filled in for Bryant Gumbel as host of Today, Jane Pauley, and Deborah Norville as co-anchor of Today, Garrick Utley, Mary Alice Williams, and Maria Shriver as co-host of Sunday Today, and John Palmer, Norville, and Faith Daniels as anchor of the former NBC News program NBC News at Sunrise. She also subbed for Daniels, Norville, and John Palmer as the news anchor on Today.
In 1989, Couric joined Today as national political correspondent, becoming a substitute co-host in February 1991 when Norville had a baby. Norville did not return and Couric became permanent co-anchor on April 5, 1991. In 1994, she became co-anchor of Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric—an evening time weekly TV newsmagazine with Tom Brokaw—which was later canceled and folded into part of Dateline NBC, where her reports appeared regularly and she was named contributing anchor. She remained at Today for fifteen years with co-host Matt Lauer and NBC News until May 31, 2006, when she announced that she would be going to CBS to anchor the CBS Evening News, becoming the first solo female anchor of the "big three" weekday nightly news broadcasts.
While at NBC, Katie Couric occasionally filled in for Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News. From 1989-1993, Couric also filled in for Maria Shriver on the Sunday Edition of NBC Nightly News and for Garrick Utley on the Saturday Edition of NBC Nightly News.
Couric hosted or worked on a number of news specials, like Everybody's Business: America's Children in 1995. Similar entertainment specials were Legend to Legend Night: A Celebrity Cavalcade in 1993, and Harry Potter: Behind the Magic in 2001. Couric has also co-hosted the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games. She has broadcast with Bob Costas, beginning with the 2000 Summer Olympics. She did not co-host the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Turin, Italy, because of a scheduling conflict with a live taping of Today. Brian Williams co-hosted with Bob Costas instead.
Couric has interviewed many international political figures and celebrities during her career, including Presidents Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and First Lady Barbara Bush. John F. Kennedy Jr. gave Couric his first and last interviews. Couric has won multiple television reporting awards through her career, including the prestigious Peabody Award for her series Confronting Colon Cancer. Couric has also interviewed former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Senator Hillary Clinton (her first television interview), Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, and Laura Bush.
On May 28, 2008, Couric made a return visit to Today since leaving almost two years to the very day back on May 31, 2006. She made this appearance alongside her evening counterparts, NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams & ABC World News' Charles Gibson, to promote an organization called Stand Up to Cancer and raise cancer awareness on all three major television networks; ABC, CBS & NBC. Couric, Gibson and Williams made appearances together on all three major network morning shows, first on CBS's Early Show, then on NBC's Today and finally on ABC's Good Morning America.
CBS Evening News (2006–2011)
Couric announced on April 5, 2006, that she would be leaving Today. CBS officially confirmed later the same day that Couric would become the new anchor and managing editor of CBS Evening News with her first broadcast set for September 5, 2006. Couric would also contribute to 60 Minutes and anchor prime-time news specials for CBS. Couric earned $15 million per year while at CBS, a salary that made her the highest paid journalist in the world, a salary similar to Matt Lauer's at NBC and Barbara Walter's at ABC.
Couric made her first broadcast as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric on September 5, 2006. The program featured a new set, new graphics, and a new theme composed by prolific movie score composer James Horner. The program also featured a voice-over from Walter Cronkite. It was the first evening newscast to be simulcast live on the internet and local radio stations.
CBS heavily hyped Couric's arrival at the network, hoping to revive the evening news format, but there were suggestions that it backfired. Although there was much interest during her first week as anchor, CBS Evening News remained a distant third in viewership, behind ABC World News and NBC Nightly News. While Couric's ratings improved over her predecessor, Bob Schieffer, ABC's Charles Gibson widened World News' lead over Evening News.
The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric won the 2008 and 2009 Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast. On March 29, 2009, Couric was awarded with the Emmy Governor's Award for her broadcasting career.
She has interviewed presidents, cabinet members, celebrities, and business executives around the world, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former President George W. Bush, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, John Edwards just after their announcement that Mrs. Edwards' cancer had returned, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Norah Jones and Michael J. Fox.
Couric led CBS News' coverage of the 2006 midterm elections, the 2008 Presidential election and conventions, and 2010 midterm elections. Couric was the first network anchor on the ground in Port au Prince after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. After the BP oil spill, Couric anchored from the Gulf Coast weekly and brought much attention to the disaster. She reported from Cairo's Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. In April 2011, she led CBS News' coverage from London for the Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton.
Couric was the only solo female evening news anchor in the United States, until December 21, 2009, when she was joined by Diane Sawyer, who succeeded the retiring Charles Gibson for ABC World News. Couric and Sawyer were previous rivals as the hosts of Today and Good Morning America, respectively.
On April 26, 2011, Couric confirmed in an interview with People magazine that she would be leaving her anchor post at CBS Evening News, when her contract expired on June 4, 2011. Katie Couric made her final broadcast in the CBS Evening News chair on Thursday, May 19, 2011.
60 Minutes (2006–2011)
Couric was a 60 Minutes correspondent and contributed six to eight stories a year for the program. Her most famous segment was the first interview with airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger. She also interviewed Valerie Plame, Robert Gates and Michelle Rhee for the program.
The Palin interviews (2008)
The Sarah Palin interviews with Katie Couric were a series of interviews Couric conducted with 2008 U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. They were recorded and broadcast on television in several programs before the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Couric received the Walter Cronkite Award for Journalism Excellence for the interview. Steve Schmidt, McCain's senior campaign strategist and advisor, later reflected on the interview, saying "I think it was the most consequential interview from a negative perspective that a candidate for national office has gone through..."
CBS Reports (2009–2011)
Couric was the lead reporter for two CBS Reports series, which aired across all CBS News platforms. The first series, "CBS Reports: Children of the Recession," highlighted the pain suffered by the youngest of the Great Recession's victims. The series won the Columbia School of Journalism's Alfred DuPont Award for Excellence in Journalism. The second series, which aired in early 2010, was "CBS Reports: Where America Stands'.' which featured veteran CBS News correspondents reporting on major issues facing the United States in the decade ahead with research by the CBS News Polling Unit.
Couric hosted a weekly, one-hour interview program on CBSNews.com. The launch of the webshow signaled that Couric would stay at CBS until her contracted expired in 2011.
Her first guest was Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck. Subsequent interviews have included former Vice President Al Gore, actor Hugh Jackman, recording artist Shakira, First Lady Michelle Obama, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, teen singer Justin Bieber, actress Jane Lynch, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, actor Daniel Radcliffe, Bill Gates, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, national Tea Party movement leader Michael Johns, New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, and author Malcolm Gladwell.
Move to ABC
ABC News (2011-)
Couric is a Special Correspondent for ABC News, based in New York. She will continue in this role even once her daytime talk show begins. Her first appearance on the network was a Sarah Jessica Parker interview on Nightline. Couric co-anchored coverage of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, alongside Diane Sawyer, Christiane Amanpour, Barbara Walters, Elizabeth Vargas, George Stephanopoulos, and Robin Roberts. Couric was hosting Today on NBC at the time of the attacks, and led CBS News coverage of the 5th anniversary. Couric also guest co-hosted The View and Live! with Regis and Kelly. Couric interviewed Lady Gaga in primetime on Thanksgiving as part of A Very Gaga Thanksgiving. In November 2011, Couric hosted a special primetime ABC news program highlighting Regis Philbin's retirement, after Philbin's 25-year tenure at ABC.
From April 2–6, 2012, Couric substituted for co-anchor Robin Roberts on ABC's Good Morning America, her first stint at hosting a morning news show since leaving Today.
Since Couric's week-long stint was such a success, in addition to her duties with the syndicated talk show and her contributions to the ABC News, she will also anchor a special weekly web show for Yahoo, who is a partner of ABC News. The Program, aptly titled Katie's Take, a program that allows Katie Couric to not only give her opinion on trending topics in the realms of medicine, health, family, education, etc., but also allows for intelligent discussions with various members of these fields. Although the show is a web program, it gives Couric an official show for ABC News, solidifying her role as a member of the ABC News Team.
Katie's Take marks the second web show that Couric has been affiliated with, the first being @katiecouric on the CBS Evening News.
On June 6, 2011, ABC announced that Couric had signed a record $40-million contract, and would begin hosting a daytime talk show for its Disney-ABC Domestic Television arm that would debut in September 2012. Couric would also contribute to ABC News programming.
On August 22, 2011, it was announced that Couric's talk show would be called Katie. The first episode aired on September 10, 2012.
Couric has been called "America's Sweetheart" largely due to her co-anchor role for 15 years on The Today Show. On May 12, 2003, Couric guest-hosted The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as part of a swap campaign, and had 45 percent more viewers than on other nights. She has been the only guest host used by Jay Leno on either The Tonight Show or his short lived The Jay Leno Show. Leno filled in for her on Today that same day. CNN and the New York Daily News noted that instead of using Leno's regular solid desk, "workers cut away the front of her desk to expose her legs while she interviewed American Idol judge Simon Cowell and Austin Powers star Mike Myers".
In a media crossover to animated film, she was the voice of news-reporter "Katie Current" in the U.S. version of the film Shark Tale. She also made a cameo appearance as a prison guard at Georgia State Prison in Austin Powers in Goldmember. She guest-starred as herself on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown in 1992 and in the NBC sitcom Will & Grace in late 2002. On May 12, 2003, she traded places for a day with Tonight Show host Jay Leno. Couric also co-hosted NBC's live coverage of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1991 until 2005. Katie Couric delivered the graduation speech at her alma mater University of Virginia on May 20, 2012, and at Princeton University on June 1, 2009.
She also works with Carmen Marc Valvo to help publicize the deadliness, yet preventability, of colorectal cancer. On May 16, 2010, Katie Couric received an honorary doctor of science degree for her efforts in raising awareness of colorectal cancer and for her commitment to advancing medical research from Case Western Reserve University, and later gave the university's 2010 convocation keynote address. In 2011, she gave the university commencement speech at Boston University and was awarded another doctoral degree, Doctor of Humane Letters. She gave her speech amongst much fan-fare from the BU community, and her speech was not only touching but also inspirational and funny. She has also hosted a Sesame Street special, "When Families Grieve." The special, which aired on PBS on April 14, 2010, dealt with the issues that children go through when a parent dies.
On February 6, 2011, Couric guest-starred on the post-Super Bowl episode of Glee, playing herself interviewing Sue Sylvester after the cheer-leading team lost the championship. Sue sarcastically referred to Couric as "Diane Sawyer" during the segment.
On April 12, 2011, Couric's first book, titled The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives, was published by Random House. The book is a collection of essays compiled over the past year by Couric; contributors include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Queen Rania of Jordan, and former Today show colleague Matt Lauer. In an interview with The New York Times, Couric said that a 2010 convocation keynote address she gave (refer to preceding paragraph) inspired her to come up with the book. To this end, all profits of the book will be donated to Scholarship America.
Couric is also heavily featured in The Gregory Brothers' series Auto-Tune The News. They mention this is due to her "outstanding" suitability for auto-tuning.
She is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Couric married Jay Monahan in 1989. She gave birth to their first daughter, Elinor Tully "Ellie" Monahan, on July 23, 1991; their second daughter, Caroline "Carrie" Couric Monahan, was born on January 5, 1996. Jay Monahan died of colon cancer in 1998 at the age of 42; as a result, Couric is a spokeswoman for colon cancer awareness. She underwent a colonoscopy on-air in March 2000, and, according to a study published in 2003 in Archives of Internal Medicine, could have inspired many others to get checked as well:
Katie Couric's televised colon cancer awareness campaign was temporarily associated with an increase in colonoscopy use in 2 different data sets. This illustrates the possibility that a well-known individual can draw attention and support to worthwhile causes.
She also was very active in the National Hockey League's Hockey Fights Cancer campaign, appearing in some public service announcements and doing voice-overs for several others. Couric is currently a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the United States.
On October 7, 2005, as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Couric broadcast her own mammogram on the Today show, in the hopes of recreating the "Couric Effect" around the issue of breast cancer.
Her sister Emily Couric, a Virginia Democratic state senator, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 54 on October 18, 2001. Couric gave a eulogy at the funeral. She pointed out that it irritated Emily when people asked her if she was Katie Couric's sister. She told the mourners, "I just want you to know I will always be proud to say 'I am Emily Couric's sister'." Couric has two other siblings, Clara Couric Bachelor and John M. Couric Jr.
Couric was the honored guest at the 2004 Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation fall gala. As the Guest of Honor for the inaugural American Cancer Society Discovery Ball, Couric was recognized for her leadership in increasing cancer awareness and screening.
In 2011, Couric became the Honorary National Chair of the National Parkinson Foundation's Moving Day campaign, a grassroots campaign to spotlight Parkinson's disease awareness on a national level. Couric's father died in 2011 at age 90 from complications due to Parkinson's disease.
News sources have previously romantically linked Katie Couric to television sitcom producer Tom Werner. On December 13, 2011, Couric was reported to be splitting with her boyfriend of five years, financial executive Brooks Perlin, who is 17 years her junior.
During her tenure as the host of CBS Evening News, Couric was compensated 15 million dollars per year.
In a September 2012 episode of Katie, Couric revealed that she had struggled with bulimia throughout college and for two years afterwards.