If the rather confident AP report that Katie Couric is leaving the anchor post proves true, it will surprise no one.
Certainly not anyone who read the last round of "Katie Couric is leaving" reports (April 10, 2008: "CBS News, Katie Couric Are Likely to Part Ways", with a fresh round in July 2010: "Couric's Future Questioned At CBS.") On the other hand, the people who write and speculate about the evening news never watch actually it unless assigned to for work, so the overwhelmingly aging viewership of the broadcast may itself be in for a shock.
The AP says Couric, who was the first woman to anchor a network newscast, "is expected to launch a syndicated talk show in 2012 and several companies are vying for her services." That last clause makes it sound like it's someone in Couric's camp getting ahead of the news. So much vying, we can't even go on the record! Meanwhile, TMZ reports that it will be a few weeks before an exit deal is in place.
Couric's morning show grin and everyday appeal were supposed to bring new viewers to a dying form; that hasn't happened. But she stuck it out long enough to overcome blaring headlines about how her hire and $15 million salary were terrible ideas, and long enough to no longer be the only woman in the big three network newscasts (Couric's gender couldn't blamed for the lackluster ratings). Long enough, even, to collect kudos for a hard-hitting interview (with Sarah Palin) and rack up new media bonafides with a social media presence and various webcasts. And if reports of a talk show deal are true, she's not slinking off into obscurity, either.