Katie Couric usually asks the questions. During a Tuesday visit to Atlanta to promote her new talk show, she answered them.
Following a luncheon at Channel 2, which will air “Katie” at 3 p.m. weekdays starting Sept. 10, Couric faced queries from invited guests – and an animated line of questioning from fellow broadcast journalist Monica Pearson, who wanted to know what advice Couric has received regarding the new show (be yourself), how Couric’s daughters feel about it (supportive and excited) and what’s off limits (sordid love triangles and surprise paternity test results).
And: “Did you call Oprah?”
“I didn’t call Oprah,” Couric said with a laugh. “I’m a little afraid of Oprah, to be honest. She’s a little intimidating.”
Afterward Couric presented Pearson with a bouquet honoring her final sign-off next week. “She’s an institution,” Couric said.
The exchange gave the audience an idea of what they can expect from Couric’s new show – humor, spontaneity and candor.
“I want the show to reflect my sensibilities and things I’m passionate about,” she said. “I’m going to have fun, even when we talk about serious things.”
“Katie” will tackle topics including parenting, health, current events, authors and a special feature known as “YOLO” – you only live once – inviting viewers to share their fondest dreams. Couric revealed a few of her own, but implored the audience to keep them under wraps (so we won’t tell you which legendary musician she’s planning to join temporarily as a backup singer). Couric’s celebrity interviews will aim to elicit substance beneath stars’ shiny veneer.
“We want to have intelligent conversations,” said Couric, whose career includes work on “ABC News” and “Good Morning America,” her longtime stint on the “Today” show couch, her role anchoring the “CBS Evening News,” and reporting for programs including “60 Minutes,” “20/20” and “Nightline.”
Couric’s father, the late John Couric, was an Atlanta Constitution journalist in the 1940s. She was a CNN producer in the 1980s and spent a good bit of time here as a child, visiting her grandmother. “It’s really fun for me to be back in Atlanta,” she said.