Couric battles "diva' image

Published Sept. 29, 2005|Updated Oct. 24, 2005

Morning-news divas apparently have feelings, too.

Months after several scathing news stories portrayed Katie Couric as a tyrannical prima donna whose mere presence in the NBC hallways sent staffers scurrying for cover, the Today show co-anchor has gone on the defensive.

In recent interviews with two magazines, Couric admits that reports of her off-camera bad behavior have gotten under her skin.

"Nobody enjoys being trashed," says Couric in the latest issue of AARP the Magazine. "But it comes with success, with an increasingly snarky environment in the world today."

"There's been a lot of completely bogus stuff written about me," she continues. "That's been tough for me as a journalist."

The press started firing potshots earlier this year when the No. 1-rated Today show began slipping in the ratings to the perennial No. 2, ABC's Good Morning America.

Not only did a New York magazine feature blame Couric for a behind-the-scenes "crisis" at Today, a New York Times article contained this now-infamous description of what it's like to work with Couric:

"America's girl next door has morphed into the mercurial diva down the hall. At the first sound of her peremptory voice and clickety stiletto heels, people dart behind doors and douse the lights."

The timing of Couric's public response to the criticism is certainly curious _ her NBC contract is up in May, and Couric, who turns 49 in January, is still undecided about her future.