Katie Couric's new syndicated talk show, "Katie," will be airing on WMAR-TV starting next fall, Bill Hooper, the station's general manager said.
The Disney-ABC show will air at either 3 or 4 p.m., both key time slots because of their potential to drive viewers into the early evening local newscasts.
Couric's will air live at 3 in many markets, but general managers will have the option in some cases of carrying it at 4 p.m. so that it can lead into the 5 p.m. news. With many stations like Baltimore's WJZ starting their early evening news at 4 p.m., feeding the show live at 3 seems like a sound idea.
"Given her history with the 'Today' Show and as an anchorwoman on the evening news, we think 'Katie' is going to be a very attractive show to women 25 to 54 [years of age] and a great lead-in for news," Hooper said. "This is a show we're really looking forward to."
"Katie" could indeed shake things up in the afternoons if it airs at 4 against "Ellen" on WBAL and local news on WJZ. And if successful, it could significantly improve WMAR's local news ratings at 5.
"Katie" has been sold in 60 percent of the country so far. There is some real distribution muscle behind this show.