Though it was widely reported last week, this morning Yahoo confirmed that Katie Couric would join the company as “Global Anchor.” CEO Marissa Mayer made the announcement on the company’s Tumblr blog:
In addition to being the face of Yahoo News and shooting features for our homepage, Katie will continue to host her syndicated daytime talk show, Katie.
As Global Anchor, Katie joins Megan Liberman,David Pogue, Matt Bai and our incredibly talented editorial team in pioneering a new chapter of digital journalism. At Yahoo, we are investing in bringing our users the absolute best content and video experiences available — and this is just the beginning!
Couric will join the company in 2014 and “will help develop Yahoo News’ coverage with a growing team of global correspondents who will report on live world events, anchor groundbreaking interviews with major newsmakers and thought leaders, and much more.”
As mentioned, Couric will also continue to produce her syndicated daytime talk show, Katie.
This will be a major test of Couric’s star power and digital as a primary platform for mainstream “broadcasting.” She reportedly left a $40+ million contract at ABC to join Yahoo after heavy lobbying by CEO Marissa Mayer.
Couric’s early departure from ABC represents another blow to traditional media. There has been a rash of defections from traditional media entities and newspapers in the past several months, including the New York Times’ David Pogue and, to some degree, Nate Silver (who went to ESPN from NYT).
Yahoo News has remained a very strong performer amid weakness in other areas on Yahoo. According to Nielsen Yahoo was the top news site in the US in September.