TV Personality Katie Couric speaks onstage at the 'Katie' Panel… (Frederick M. Brown )
Veteran TV personality and newswoman Katic Couric already has numerous accomplishments under her belt: "Today"show star, network news anchor, author, interviewer of celebrities and national figures, Sarah Palin thorn-in-side.
But in her appearence at the TCA press tour to promote her upcoming syndicated talk show "Katie," Couric ticked off a few more things she'd like to do — singing in a Broadway musical, jumping out of an airplane.
"And I'd like to go out with George Clooney, if you could arrange that," she quipped.
Still, Couric, attired in a red dress, was mostly serious as she tackled a large range range of topics ranging from the look of her new venture to criticism of her anchor duties on "The CBS Evening News" to her thoughts about the recent ouster of Ann Curry from "Today."
"My heart was breaking for her that morning," Couric said when asked about Curry's awkward on-air departure recently. She said it must have been horribile "to have that played out on the public stage.... It was very hard to watch."
She praised Curry highly fo her reporting of domestic and international stories. But in terms of the chemistry on the NBC morning news program, "for whatever reason, it wasn't clicking,"
Mostly, Couric was upbeat about her afternoon talk show, though she said it was still "a work in progress." The series debuts Sept. 19, and Couric will take on a high-profile role within the ABC News division while also producing and owning the talk show along with her onetime "Today" show producer, former NBCUniversal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker.
"I'll be able to flex all my muscles from 33 years in news," she said. "My portfolio is really varied, so I pride myself on using the right tone and right approach and calibrate that."
"Katie" will broadcast live from New York and take place in front of a studio audience. The format will tackle one to possibly three topics daily.
Said Couric, "It's an exciting opportunity to build something from scratch, to give the audience a richer experiece and let a conversation breathe." An executive's definition of the show — "smart with heart" — is "an ideal description of what I would like the show to be." The show will also incorporate interactive features in a bid to appeal to the social media crowd. (Couric has become a frequent Twitter user.)
Couric said a key element of her longevitiy is that the viewing audience relates to her: "I've experienced a lot of things in my own life that people are going through — losing a spouse, having to learn about cancer, dealing with datiing in your 40s and 50s." She added, "I have to refamiliarize myself with the kind of person I was on the 'Today' show."
As for her previous stint as anchor of "The CBS Evening News," Couric said she was taken aback at the ferocity of the criticism of her early days.
"The criticism seemed so shallow," she said, ranging from the way she held her hands on the desk to wearing a white jacket in a post-Labor Day newscast. "It was Armani, people," she quipped.
"It was hard to understand the vitriol, but it was a great learning experiece, and I'm very proud of my work at CBS."
Of course, one of the highlights of her CBS News days was her interview with Sarah Palin when she exposed the then-vice presidential nominee's weakness of current topics and news. She said she has invited Palin to be a guest on her new show.
So far, "no response," Couric said.
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