According to TechCrunch, Yahoo has hired ABC reporter Katie Couric — a.k.a. “America’s Sweetheart” — to fill the role of ‘Global Anchor’ for the site’s digital content.
CEO Marissa Mayer announced the hire on Yahoo’s official Tumblr, and noted that Katie will continue to host her eponymous daytime talk show.
Oh yeah, and about that talk show…according to a recent Hollywood Reporter article, Katie still has lots to prove. Despite a massive $35 million budget (including $20 million over two years for Ms. Couric) and a cushy time slot, the show has consistently disappointed ABC executives with middling 1.7-1.8 household ratings. Additionally, only 10% of females view Ms. Couric favorably, according to the Q Scores company, compared to a 29% rating for Ellen Degeneres.
This is the woman whom Lil’ Wayne once complimented for her competitiveness, of course, so don’t count us as haters. Simply put, Yahoo would be wise to recognize Katie for her strengths — hardcore reporting, serious interviews — and lead her away from the soft-focus lifestyle stories that she clearly does not respect, nor enjoy. Indeed, one source tells THR that with regards to women viewers, “Anyone home after 9 o’clock she has no interest in appealing to.”
Along with former New York Times staffers David Pogue, Matt Bai, and Megan Liberman, the Couric pickup represents an extensive investment in content by Yahoo.