It’s been four months since Katie Couric announced she was becoming the first-ever Global Anchor at Yahoo, and we still have no idea what that means. Apparently, neither do people at Yahoo.
“When it comes to digital, I think Katie’s going to have a serious problem adjusting to that. I don’t understand what [Yahoo President and CEO Marissa] Mayer wants from her,” a source who has worked with Couric tells us. “She’s not Internet savvy. So she tweets — who doesn’t?”
Business Insider Australia writes that Couric took the position at Yahoo for a reported $6 million salary amid the cancelation of her daytime talk show, “Katie.” That’s a big salary but not much compared to the $15 million salary she once earned as an evening news anchor at CBS.
“I think she was looking for an out,” explains the source. “She had this talk show and the full power of ABC-Disney behind her, every resource, and a huge marketing campaign — but it still didn’t work.”
Now the veteran TV personality has to prove herself on the new platform — and to do so while Yahoo faces its own identity crisis and turmoil on its editorial team.
Couric says in a new Yahoo News promotional video that her role will be interviewing “politicians, thought leaders, cultural icons, and tech titans,” and she has already interviewed former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Defence Secretary Robert Gates for the site — big names though people who are hardly media shy.
Longtime Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman, who is now vice chairman of Reputation.com, gives a more optimistic outlook on Couric’s next step: “I think it’s a really smart move for her, but perhaps an even smarter move for Yahoo. It’s clear that where people get their news from is changing in pretty extraordinary ways and familiarity breeds content. As Yahoo does more original content, Katie is a face who people know, a face people trust.”
Bragman predicts a convergence of TV and digital news, which Couric could fit into nicely.
“I think you will find digital is going to get more like traditional TV and traditional TV is going to get more like digital,” explains Bragman. “Meaning, on digital, the production quality is going to improve, the shows are going to be better defined instead of just segments, and I think they’re going to evolve into more of a traditional TV-like atmosphere. Traditional TV is realising timeliness is huge, being live is huge — some of the things that digital has known for a long time. And as they meld into each other, she gets it.”
We'll have to wait and see what happens with the perky one this time.