Couric enjoys tributes, retrospectives on her last day as co-anchor of NBC’s Today. She’s leaving to take over the anchor desk at the CBS Evening News in the fall.
During a three-hour celebration of her 15-year stint on the Today show, Katie Couric said farewell this morning to “the best job in all of television” and thanked co-anchor Matt Lauer and her other colleagues on TV’s leading morning show.
Couric is moving to CBS in the fall to take over the CBS Evening News as the first solo female anchor of a broadcast network evening newscast. She had announced on April 5 that today would be her last on the show after months of speculation.
Couric expressed gratitude to all her co-workers, especially Lauer whom she praised as “fast and funny” and for his “huge and loving heart.”
But she couldn’t keep it too serious: “Now I know I’ll never have a partner like you again ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ because I will never be working with a partner again.”
For his part, Laurer recalled the personal tragedies and “life-affirming moments” that they shared and the world events they reported. “Suffice it to say, we have on this job seen the best and worst of the world,” he said.
“But the thing I will remember most and what I will cherish mostÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦is, boy, have we laughed. We have laughed on the air and off the air everyday, day in and day out ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ everything from giggles to belly laughs.”
Couric enjoyed singing tributes from Tony Bennett and from Broadway stars led by Harvey Fierstein.
Drawing on 15 years of videotape, producers showed Couric in each of the many incongruous roles the show demands—interrogator of presidents and other world leaders, reporter, national comforter in times of crisis, advocate of worthy causes, fashion plate, celebrity interviewer, game entertainer and TV friend.
“I know I will never have this much fun again and get paid for it,” she said.