First, Jeff Zucker left Katie Couric's self-titled talk show high and dry to go run CNN; now he's snatched up one of Katie's top producers! According to the New York Times, Zucker has tapped former Today buddy Michael Bass to fill a senior vice-president role at the struggling, cable news outlet.
Bass and Kathy Samuels were the original, day-to-day, co-executive producers of Katie, working with E.P.'s Couric and Zucker. The NYT article notes Katie's out-the-gate ratings triumph over other freshman talkers is starting to wane. Here's an excerpt:
"Katie," by some measures the most-anticipated new day show in several years, made its debut last September. With about 2.5 million viewers a day, it immediately exceeded the other freshman talk shows, but its ratings have slipped somewhat, much to the chagrin of Ms. Couric.
Recently, a competing show by Steve Harvey has been beating "Katie" among total viewers and, more important, among the middle-age women whom local stations covet during the day.
The Times goes on to forecast a major backstage shakeup for the syndicated Disney chatfest.
Photo of Katie Couric by Disney