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Katie Couric Likely Leaving CBS Evening News; Scott Pelley a Leading Replacement

The Huffington Post    
First Posted: 03/26/11 10:48 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:40 PM ET

Rumors are swirling that Katie Couric is all set to leave the "CBS Evening News" when her contract is up—and focus is centering on Scott Pelley, a correspondent for "60 Minutes," as one of her top potential replacements.

On Thursday and Friday, both the Los Angeles Times' Joe Flint and The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz reported that Couric is due to leave her evening news perch in June, with Flint calling it a "foregone conclusion" and Kurtz calling it "very likely."

Both also say that Pelley is a top choice to replace Couric. He has been with CBS for over two decades, and been a correspondent for "60 Minutes" or "60 Minutes II" since 1999. Though he is not as big a star as Couric, he is also seen as close to Jeff Fager, the new chairman of CBS News who also happens to be the executive producer of "60 Minutes." Fager has also been notably cool on the subject of Couric's future. He dodged the question in a February interview, saying he didn't know if Couric wanted to stay at CBS, and pointedly not saying he wanted her to stay.

Couric herself has been seen meeting with former NBC boss Jeff Zucker, and she is widely believed to be pursuing a daytime or syndicated show. Kurtz reported that she initially wanted to remain at the "Evening News" for a short period of time, but that she "has aggressively tested the waters—and found substantial interest in her services" elsewhere. On Tuesday, she told David Letterman that she "could leave" the network, saying she was "figuring out" what she wanted to do. When Letterman said that anchors usually stay put once they get the job, Couric said, "is that a CBS law?

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