Zucker: Talk Format Showcases Couric's Strengths
Jeff Zucker, the former head of NBC Universal, is set to be an executive producer of a new syndicated show with Katie Couric. He said the program will look to showcase some of the traits that made Couric so successful on "The Today Show."
He touted her ability to bounce between the humorous and the serious, characteristics that understandably may have gotten lost during her tenure at CBS News.
"That's really what you'll see," Zucker said at a New York conference. "That's what her brand is. It's a brand that's got credibility and fun -- and that's the hope we take into that program. I think that's a tremendous opportunity."
Zucker was short on details at the PromaxBDA event, though he was clear about part of the show's ambitions. "There will never be another Oprah," he said.
The unnamed daily talk show will be hosted by Couric and syndicated by Disney/ABC Television starting next fall.
Zucker worked with Couric for years as an executive producer of "The Today Show," and their partnership will be renewed. The show has commitments to air at 3 p.m. on the eight ABC-owned stations covering about 23% of the country.
"Katie is a unique brand in television, the mere fact that we can just say Katie -- and you know who were talking about -- is evidence of that," Zucker said. He added that people have missed her ability to move between fun and gravity.