Katie Couric Interview: New Show Katie Debuts in September and She Sat Down With Us For a Chat About It

Katie Couric spoke with us Monday May 21, 2012 about her new daily talk show show "Katie" (Facebook, Twitter, Website) premiering in September locally on WESH. After having the opportunity to sit with her and meet her, I can honestly say I cannot wait to see her show. She's super friendly and fun. I brought my hilarious assistant, Janine, along for the fun. Here's the transcript below. Big thanks to the staff at WESH!

M: What have been your favorite interviews so far?

K: I have a few. Ross Perot was a good interview because he was so pugnacious. (Another one was) when George Herbert Walker Bush came in to the White House when I was interviewing Mrs. Bush about the decor and I did an impromptu 19 minute interview with him. 

M: 19 minutes?

K: Yeah it was an impromptu 19 minutes live interview with him that was kind of  a highlight. The interview I did at Columbine I think was very moving obviously a lot of people found that the Sarah Palin interview was impactful. I think Sully Solenberger was a really great interview to do 

M: Was that the airline (pilot)?

K; Yeah and the US Air pilot that landed on the Hudson just because it had a positive ending and he was such an impressive person. But that was sort of at a period where everyone needed their spirits lifted so that was a good thing to do. I was really pleased with that interview and it was very, very competitive. It was a competitive booking as they say in the biz.

M: Is the nature of the interviews that you've done in the past going to change with the new show?

K: Well I think you know it's going to be a live program with a studio audience but I think I hope to do similarly, compelling interviews in that format with a lot of different news makers, sometimes celebrities if they have something to say and talk about, authors and ordinary people talking about issues. I hope the caliber of the interview  subjects I have on the new show will be similar to the ones I've done throughout my career.

M: The Hollywood Reporter named you one of the most powerful people in media--

K: In New York though right? (asks Publicist)

M: Was it just New York? The party was in New York. The event was in New York. 

Publicist: It was the New York power list

M: Oh in New York 

K: In the world actually. Sorry to correct you on that. It was in the World! (Laughter) 

M: What does that feel like?

K: Seriously? (laughs) 

M: We are a blog. We don't do these (types of interviews) often. I am so sorry to unimpress you.

K: I'm totally kidding. I'm totally kidding you. It felt good.

M: I should have practiced.

K: It felt good

M Is it intimidating? Ok I'm going to move onto the next question.

Janine: Yes move on.

K: She's funny.

M: The web series on Yahoo called 'Katie's Take"

K: Yes

M: Will that continue once your new show begins?

K: I'm not sure. I think I am going to have my hands full with the show. I mean it's been fun for me to do it and Yahoo has been incredibly supportive and great. And it's just really an opportunity for me to do, it's not really a show it's just segments.

M: Just interviews...

K: Yeah just kind of things I'm interested in. So I don't know to answer your question. I'm not sure if it will continue. We'll see I think the show is going to be pretty consuming.

M: How will your show differ from what's already on the air?

K: Well it will have me as the host.

M: That is different.

K: So that is different. I don't think I'm on yet with any other program and I think it will be different then any of the fare that's currently on. I mean I think there's a lot of great shows. I love Ellen and Judge Judy and Dr. Phil and I think Doctor Oz has some great medical information but I think it will be different just because I am a different person. I have different sensibilities and you know I think it's just going to be different in its format and the topics we tackle so you know it's probably more in the Oprah vain in terms of content but it will be different because I'm not Oprah obviously. ( Laughs) 

M: Ok this may be another fun question for you. About your new show you said in the Hollywood Reporter  feature about the 35 most influential people in NEW YORK media that you want to have real conversations about important things but you want to have fun to. How do you plan on adding the fun aspect?

K: Well I think I mean some topics are more fun than others but I think all topics can be engaging and accessible and leave people with information and take home. Some sort of take-home message they can than apply to their lives. So I think when I say I can have fun, I can have fun talking about sleeplessness in America. Or I can enjoy and engage with somebody talking about a variety of topics. Some are very serious and I think as I said some will be more serious than others but I think whatever it is, I want to be compelling and engaging and than as a result be interesting and entertaining. Does that make sense?

M: Was the idea of doing the show your idea or was it brought to you?

K: Well I had been approached through the years particularly when there was a window in my Today Show contract to do a syndicated talk show. And I was never quite ready for it I think I had other things that I wanted to do first and I wasn't really ready to make the leap but I think the timing was right for me now. I wanted to do something different then I was doing at CBS I think that I realized that I enjoyed more live spontaneous format and with Oprah's exit I think it left a hole in the market place so I think there was just a confluence of reasons that would make me think that this would be the right time to try something like this and that's why I'm doing it now.

M: Have you started booking guests, and is it hard or easy to get the ones you really really want?

K: Well it's competitive, you know. There are a lot of media outlets out there. There are a lot of folks that are very aggressive obviously. But  you know we haven't really locked down interviews in earnest because it's a ways away. But we've certainly started to lay the ground work with some interviews and we are finding that people are really receptive so that's gratifying.

M: I wouldn't be surprised.

K: Well thank you ( laughs) 

M: Did that come off as a compliment?

K: It did come off as a compliment and I said thank you (laughs) 

M: On my website I find that food trends get more traffic then other stories so if I food story comes across my desk I tend to favor that. How will you choose what topics you cover?

K: Like what food trends?

M: Oh right now it's food trucks any kind of underground food events. Pop up restaurants all that stuff.

K: I think well that would be a fun show to do actually. I mean food trucks have been around but I think what we find out. I don't know, through a variety of ways. I mean, I think a lot of times I will hear something at my daughter's school that people are talking about like too much homework. Or sometimes I will see something in a magazine on an airplane. Sometimes I'll just be talking with my friends about something and think that would be an interesting show. Sometimes I will see something on the front page of the New York Times or in the style section of the New York Times, or I will buy lentil bean chips because my daughters a vegetarian and I'll think, "Are these really good for you?" and I will go the grocery store and I will see there's 12 different types of vegetable chips that you can buy.

M: I saw that one.

K: Yeah. So that really just came from me thinking "Am I feeding my daughter junk because it says lentils or vegetables on the bag? Is this really any better for you?" And it turns out they really aren't

M: It's all potatoes.

K: And that was just me in my daily life kind of thinking this would be interesting. So I think you just get ideas in a myriad of ways and you may think well gee I might want to something on Human Growth Hormone because there was this article in Vanity Fair where people were injecting themselves. Like what the heck is that all about? So I think if you are just out in the world and talking to people and reading stuff and just interested in a lot of different things the topics just come to you. And of course we have a full staff of people who are doing the same thing so that's really how we come up with ideas.  Movie may be coming out about Lincoln so it would be great to have the whole cast of Lincoln and Doris Kearns Goodwin to talk about him. Or someone may be talking about our addiction to food or how manufacturers are able to play on our brain chemistry with certain ingredients in various foods. You know so I think there's a whole panoply of reasons or places we come up with ideas.

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