UPDATE: Katie Couric has dismissed the report in a message posted Friday afternoon on Twitter:
“Wow! Appreciate the interest but… completely not true. Crazy how these things get repeated. Guess it’s just the world we live in!” Couric wrote.
The scenario suggested by the story goes like this: If Couric’s daytime talk show gets cancelled at about the same time that Walters leaves “The View,” the timing would be just right for Couric to step in and replace her, the story says.
The story cites unnamed sources at ABC who say the plan is taking shape for several reasons.
One of them is that Couric’s show, “Katie,” is already showing signs of weakness in the first week of its second season, which started this past Monday.
While it’s unlikely ABC would condemn “Katie” after only four days of new-season ratings, the show’s ratings woes are actually carrying over from last season — its first — when it never really achieved the audiences ABC hoped it would.
If “Katie” doesn’t earn a renewal for a third season, Couric will know it by this winter, if not before. Walters, 83 (she’ll be 84 later this month), has announced she’ll “retire” from her on-air spot on “The View” next spring, at the end of this season, but remain as executive producer. And Couric is already at ABC — which would make such a transition even smoother.
Our take: This scenario makes sense to us. With her long background in network-level news and talk-TV, Couric, 56, would seem to be just the right replacement for Walters, whose background and experience before she took up residence on “The View” was similar to Couric’s. On “The View,” Couric would have the juice to maintain the show’s attraction for A-list guests — everyone from the President of the United States on down. And she’s also not unlike former “View” co-host Meredith Vieira too — which makes Couric an even better fit for the show.
The Daily News story also mentions that Couric is likely not happy with the gossipy, celebrity-focused direction her producers are taking her talk show in. And while that kind of subject matter is also a staple of “The View,” one can at least say of “The View” that the women there do often discuss substantive subjects — which might appeal to Couric.
It should be noted that the Daily News story has a statement from Walters denying that Couric’s a candidate for her spot. But last spring, Walters denied the rumors that she was mulling retirement and that Elisabeth Hasselbeck was leaving the show — and both of those stories turned out to be true.