Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lunch with Katie Couric

I WISH I had a one-on-one lunch with Katie Couric.  It was a group lunch at the ABC affiliate here in Atlanta to introduce us to her new daytime show launching in a few weeks.  More on that later.

I'm such a huge fan and have been since I started watching The Today Show when in college.  When I was younger I thought I always thought the name Katie was for kids and that when I grew up and turned into a lady that I'd switch to Katherine.  Don't judge me, I was in middle school.  Then I learned of Katie Couric.  She was an adult Katie and successful, I could be, too!  Because of her, honestly, I didn't try to change what all of my friends called me once I went to high school.  Once in college, I actually started to watch the news and was drawn to Katie and Matt on the Today Show before I'd head out to class and I've been hooked ever since.  I was glued to the television screen on 9-11 and Katie took me through that horrific day.  I was away from home and I took comfort her in familiar face.  I love her shoes, her clothes and the way she interviewed guests on the show - the serious guests and the more lighthearted ones.

When Katie left The Today Show I was close to devastated.  I watched her last show and cried.  Yes, I cried.  To be honest, I did learn to love Meredith and it was because of her that I stayed with NBC in the morning.  Since Meredith left I haven't been as loyal a viewer, switching more between GMA and the local FOX news.  It could also be because my morning routine has changed with Goose - I'm eating breakfast 30 minutes earlier than I used to and I seem to hit the commercial break that lasts as long as my bowl of cereal.  Boo.

When I heard that Katie was coming to WSB for a short presentation and lunch it was all I could do not to jump out of my chair when I was asked if I wanted to go.  I was going to be in the same room as Katie Couric!!!

Lunch was great.  There was a lot of sales-y stuff before Katie came down from doing an interview, but it just built up the excitement.  When she came in the room you could see the room lighten up because everyone was smiling just because she was there.  She was awkwardly introduced to the room of people and took it like a champ.  (She was in the middle of the food buffet when she had to turn around to smile an take pictures with the WSB news staff - awkward!)

Like I mentioned, Katie is in town to promote her new syndicated program to the Atlanta advertising world.  The show, named "Katie", will debut on September 10, 2012.  Here in Atlanta it will air at 3:00pm.  I don't have a DVR, so I hope ABC will have it on their ipad app so I can watch it at home.  The talk show will be taped live everyday at 2:00 in NYC and will even air in some markets at that time.  Truly a live program in the afternoon.  I think it's going to be fantastic!  Click here for a promo video of the show.

Katie talked to us about why she wanted to do a talk show, what she wants to talk about on the show and even answered some questions from the audience.  She told us she's doing the show because she thinks that right now there aren't a lot of really in-depth interview with really interesting people.  On morning shows interviews are under five minutes long and on the entertainment programs the interviews are really pushing a new product by the famous person rather than really allowing the viewers to get to know them.  Katie wants to really get deep into so many different topics in each hour program with experts from all sides while not only addressing the main issue but also the ancillary topics as well.

On the nightly news on CBS I always felt Katie's personality was kept in the background because of the seriousness of the evening news.  This will allow her to show viewers who she really is, like she did in her 15 years on The Today Show.  Her personality is what people enjoy and what allows her into our homes.  I'm glad she's getting back to what she is most comfortable with.

After she talked about some of the topics she's going to be addressing and some interviews she's already planned (we can't share those yet) she took questions from the crowd.  Some of the questions were planted in the audience, some were silly and others were personal - she answered them all.  Some of her answers she asked us not to share with the public because they were about the current morning news shows, upcoming interviews and her family.

The entire lunch she was engaging and honest.  I was starstruck.  Katie Couric was across the room.  In the room with us she was just how she was on air - what you see on air is really Katie Couric, not some news personality.  I can't wait to see how the show does once it launches.  I'm sure ABC will support her in every way possible and she told us that she'll even get to do some specials for the network which will bring her into our homes more often.  Way to go, Katie!

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