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Re-Empowered Katie Couric Would ‘Like an Hour’ of ‘Evening News’

“Just a little hour!”

We’ve long thought that CBS and the rest of the media didn’t give Katie Couric a long enough chance to prove herself before the naysaying set in. Like her or not, she’s demonstrably different than any other solo anchor on an evening-news broadcast (Those legs! Those eyelashes! Come on, when Dan Rather uncrossed or fluttered, it just wasn’t the same), and she needed a long time to change people’s perceptions of what one should be. So we were pleased when she hit the ball out of the park this fall with her political coverage, particularly her devastating interviews with Sarah Palin. Today the Observer talked to the former Today host about what many people have been saying — that she’s having a comeback, even though she’s been here for years.

Couric told reporter Felix Gillette about how much she enjoyed her freewheeling Web-only segments, which follow every night’s broadcast.

It’s much less buttoned up,” said Ms. Couric. “It feels to me more like the Today show environment, where you can kind of shuck and jive a little bit … But you don’t have to dress up for Halloween.”

With hard economic times coming up, Gillette argues that CBS is unlikely to be willing to buy out the rest of her $40 million contract — something that had been discussed this spring. Plus, now that she’s so relevant, they probably won’t want to. So is Katie Couric finally relaxing in her anchor seat? Not quite. She says that now she wants “an hour” every night, rather than the traditional half hour. She tested it out yesterday, and she thinks the added space helps a lot. “I think time is not our friend at the Evening News,” she said. Funny, because time has finally proven to be a best friend to Couric herself.

A Star Is Reborn [NYO]
Earlier: Why Katie Couric Will Do a Great Job Interviewing Sarah Palin
Related: Alas, Poor Couric [NYM]

Re-Empowered Katie Couric Would ‘Like an Hour’ of ‘Evening News’