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April 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Well before her $15-million-per-year contract with CBS neared its end, Katie Couric was already being marginalized by the news division — limited to an average of fewer than five appearances per year on 60 Minutes, for example, the New York Times observed on Sunday. Moreover, the newspaper noted, she received a “chilly reception” from some of the staff members on the program. “They never let her learn the secret handshake there,” a former NBC colleague told the Times. The newspaper further disclosed that at a time when steep cuts were being made among the staff of the news operation, Couric’s high salary — by far the highest among all news anchors — created festering resentment among the staff, many of whom had opposed the innovations that Couric attempted to introduce into the nightly newscast when she arrived. Her hiring, said former CBS and ABC correspondent Judy Muller, was “akin to throwing a grenade. In an effort to try to create something completely new, CBS management just blew up the place.” A CBS employee told the Times that many news staffers viewed Couric “as haughty, surrounding herself with a small entourage she had imported from Today.” Meanwhile, today’s Wall Street Journal reported that Couric and Matt Lauer have discussed reteaming for a daytime talk show that would be produced by Jeff Zucker, who had originally brought the two together on NBC’s Today show. The likelihood of that happening, it said, would probably depend on who winds up carrying the show, the Journal suggested. It cited a person familiar with the matter as noting that bringing Lauer on board would be less complicated if the show was to wind up on NBC, which would allow Lauer to continue on Today “in some form.” CBS, however, currently appears to have the inside track among the possible bidders, the Journal said. Today’s New York Post observed that Couric and Lauer will actually reunite on the air for the first time on Wednesday when Couric appears on Today to promote her new book, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives.