Couric’s Yahoo show takes shape

Katie Couric. (Dan Harr/Invision for Collective Cabin/AP Images)
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Alex Weprin

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Katie Couric’s Yahoo program is finally beginning to take shape.

In January, Couric released a test show in which she interviewed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. On Friday, Couric will debut another interview, this time with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, his first since being named U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change.

Couric will begin soliciting questions, photos and videos from viewers today via a Tumblr page, as well as through Yahoo and Flickr. Tumblr and Flickr are owned by Yahoo.

Newsmaker interviews, such as those with Bloomberg and Gates, will make up a good deal of Couric’s programming for the site. Her staff will also create live events and forums, based on input from viewers, and segments based on viral content and trending topics “in an entertaining and highly shareable format,” Yahoo says.

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Shareable content is what tends to do well online at sites like Yahoo, while big interviews lend credibility and prestige. Couric’s interview with Bloomberg is a test of whether the formula Couric is trying out can hang together coherently.

Couric announced that she was joining Yahoo last November.

“What I really am excited about in working with the team at Yahoo is that there are no rules right now,” Couric told Capital at the time. “We are going to try things, we are going to see how they go, we are going to see what people are interested in, we can do everything from a town hall meeting to in-depth interviews to a breaking news story.”

In other words, it's an experiment. Future editions of her program may bear little resemblance to Friday’s interview with Bloomberg, depending on how the audience responds.

Still, Couric will soon have more time to dedicate to Yahoo. Her daytime talk show, “Katie,” will not be coming back when the current season ends later this spring.