Yahoo has confirmed that Katie Couric will join Yahoo News early in the new year, with the ABC News correspondent taking the role as Global Anchor though also continuing to present her existing talk show Katie. Couric, who has previously worked at NBC News and CBS News, is no stranger to Yahoo, with her existing weekly webshow Katie’s Take already syndicated to the site. Unclear at this stage is how much Yahoo is spending to bring Couric to the team, given her multi-million paycheck from ABC News.
Back in mid-2011, ABC confirmed that Couric had signed a $40m contract with the network. However, unofficial reports in October this year suggested the Katie show had seen falling ratings, and was unlikely to be renewed for another season after the current one ends in 2014.
“Katie is dynamic, savvy and has a way of connecting with viewers that I really admire” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wrote on the company blog, confirming that she would be joining other high-profile additions to the Yahoo team like Megan Liberman, David Pogue, and Matt Bai. However, although Couric’s paycheck will be coming from a different account, Yahoo will still be working with ABC News (among others) on future events.
“Yahoo continues to work closely with partners like ABC News to cover live events through its growing digital video network” the company said in a press release today.
Yahoo’s push into rejuvenating its media platform comes as the company tries to reinvent itself under Mayer, focusing on its still strong Yahoo News readership and factoring in more video and feature content. Meanwhile, the company has redesigned its search service, borrowing some of the more simplistic cues from Google, as well as going on a high-profile shopping spree.
That includes picking up microblogging favorite Tumblr earlier this year for $1.1bn, a deal which left many of its more edgy users concerned that the network would go the way of MySpace under News Corp. So far, changes to Tumblr have been minor, however, though Yahoo is yet to detail exactly what long-term plans it has for the service.