CBS and NBC Placing Bets on Couric Question


The buzz inside the CBS Broadcast Center is that heavy odds favor Katie Couric’s making the former dairy barn her home and leaving her posh Rockefeller Center digs once and for all.

Also, the promotion of veteran 60 Minutes producer Rome Hartman last week—to executive producer of the CBS Evening News—is seen as a temporary assignment. If Couric comes aboard, she’ll want to handpick the person who runs the flagship newscast.

Hartman will still have plenty to do if that happens. When Hartman was named to his new post, CBS News President Sean McManus said Hartman would serve as a key advisor—and essentially McManus’ No. 2. And a comfort level already exists: Both are Duke grads (class of ’77) and rabid Blue Devils fans.

Meanwhile, McManus has indicated to pals that he expects to hear a yes or no from Couric this week.

Over at NBC, oddsmakers are optimistic about Couric’s staying put, but there’s a sense inside 30 Rock that all that can be done to make her stay has been done. And although Couric’s departure would represent a serious loss to the network, Today could still dominate in the morning without her. The leading candidates to replace her should she bolt: Dateline and Today’s Ann Curry and Nightly News correspondent and Today weekend co-anchor Campbell Brown.