Couric's Exit Was "Idle Talk" Says Times SourceAll the news about Katie Couric maybe leaving her anchor job at the CBS Evening News grew out of "idle talk and musings" about her departure, one CBS source told the Times. Where did this supposed "idle talk" take place? In CBS Chairman Les Moonves' office, with Moonves, Couric, her agent and the president of CBS News all present. Funny, if I had a $15 million-per-year job I wanted to keep, I don't think I'd openly talk about leaving three years early in front of my boss and my boss' boss. Regardless, it now looks like Couric will, in fact, exit her contract before its 2011 expiration.

No decision about Couric's future emerged from the Feb. 28 meeting. But when the substance of the talks was leaked to the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, Couric became dejected and now might leave within "the next few weeks," according to the Times' sources.

It is not clear whether the leak was a malicious move on the part of someone inside CBS to nudge Couric out the door, but similar gossip has sometimes been deployed in TV news to usher out unwanted personalities (see, for one example, David Hartman here). According to the Times, CBS executives are "adamant" Couric will stay at least through the election.

The Times story ended with a "close associate" saying it is doubtful Couric will complete her contract.

[Times]