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Published: Wednesday, 4/13/2011

Couric returns to 'Today' for interview with Lauer, says decision about future coming soon

BY DAVID BAUDER
AP TELEVISION WRITER
Katie Couric and Matt Lauer on Couric's last day on NBC's "Today," where Couric returned Wednesday for an interview about her career future. Katie Couric and Matt Lauer on Couric's last day on NBC's "Today," where Couric returned Wednesday for an interview about her career future.
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NEW YORK — Katie Couric returned to the "Today" show Wednesday for an on-air reunion with Matt Lauer, but didn't give him an exclusive about her future.

"I'll call you," she said with a wide smile, her hand mimicking a telephone. The current "CBS Evening News" anchor, whose contract expires in June, said she expected to make a decision about her future in a few weeks.

It was her second time back on the morning show where she was host from 1991 to 2006 (the other was to promote an anti-cancer initiative). She's currently on a tour touting her new book, "The Best Advice I Ever Got," a collection of essays with words of wisdom for young people.

She insisted she hadn't made a decision on what to do next, after Lauer suggested that she knew but just hasn't told anyone yet.

Several companies are seeking to have her host a daytime talk show, including both CBS and NBC. That's considered an area of opportunity with the imminent end of daytime leader Oprah Winfrey's show.

Asked by Lauer what appealed to her about that idea, Couric mentioned the creative freedom to choose subjects and have intelligent discussions about them. Medical, health, social issues and politics were subject areas she said she'd like to address.

"It might be nice to have a little more wiggle room for me to show a little more personality," said Couric, who has sought other avenues of expression beyond the tightly-formatted, half-hour evening newscast.

Left unspoken on the air were a handful of published reports speculating she could team up again with Lauer on a talk show when his "Today" contract ends at the end of 2012. Such an idea is considered highly unlikely.

Even though she and Lauer worked side-by-side as anchors from 1997 to 2006, Couric showed loyalty to her current employer: she talked about her book Tuesday on CBS' "The Early Show," and also appeared on "The View."

She said she had no regrets about moving to CBS and loves working at the evening news.
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Online: NBC's "Today" show



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