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If Katie Couric moves to daytime TV, who will take over the CBS Evening News?



b-katie-couric-hair-494eb31e0151.jpegIf a story in the Hollywood Reporter is on target, anchor Katie Couric is considering stepping down from her gig leading the CBS Evening News to star in a syndicated daytime talk show.

She's mulling an important choice -- stay at the network for less than her reported $15-million salary, or move to a syndicated TV project, possibly with her former compatriot at NBC, ex-Today show producer Jeff Zucker.

It’s a move which makes sense — with Oprah Winfrey leaving the field in September, there’s lots of opportunity — but if she leaves, a natural question surfaces.

Who should take her place as the top news anchor at CBS?

David Gregory — NBC’s Meet the Press host seems overshadowed by former anchor Tom Brokaw and current anchor Brian Williams on most news stories. And it will likely be a long time before Williams leaves the big chair; Couric’s spot may be his last opportunity.

gwen_ifill.jpgGwen Ifill — I say this every time a big anchor job comes up because the host of PBS’ NewsHour is so good and network TV needs more diversity in its top voices. CBS could chart an ambitious new news course with one smart hire.

Terry Moran — ABC’s Nightline often beats Leno and Letterman in the ratings, and host Moran has become it’s smart, sometimes playful voice. And at ABC, he’s stuck waiting behind George Stephanopoulos for a shot at the big job.

Meredith Vieira — Okay, the first time CBS tried this maneuver, it was a little rocky. But Vieira has better hard news credentials and a history with the network, including a stint on 60 Minutes in the late 1980s and on the CBS Morning News in the early ‘90s.

Bob Schieffer -- Suggested by my pal, Kansas City Star TV critic Aaron Barnhart, CBS' onetime fill-in anchor and current Face the Nation host has the ability and credibility. But Schieffer he said many times he doesn't want the job permanently and at age 74, the network would likely have to begin searching for his replacement right away.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2011 1:37pm]


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