Pioneering US newswoman steps down as TV anchor

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 27 2011 07:11 AM | Updated as of Apr 27 2011 03:11 PM

WASHINGTO – Katie Couric, the first solo female anchor of a US television network's flagship evening news program, announced Tuesday that she is leaving the CBS Evening News.

Couric, 54, told People magazine that she was leaving CBS after five-and-a-half years to pursue other television opportunities.

"I have decided to step down from the CBS Evening News," Couric said. "In making the decision to move on, I know the Evening News will be in great hands, but I am excited about the future."

Couric said she was in discussions about another television show but provided few details.

"I am looking at a format that will allow me to engage in more multi-dimensional storytelling," she said. "The bottom line is that I love doing all kinds of different stories."

Couric took over the anchor desk for the CBS Evening News in September 2006, following in the footsteps of veterans Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite.

She was unable, however, to pull CBS ahead of rivals NBC and ABC in the ratings.

The evening newscasts -- once the cornerstone of evening television viewing in American homes -- have been steadily losing audience in an era of 24-hour cable television coverage and up-to-the-minute Internet news.

Couric joined the CBS Evening News after 15 years presenting NBC's popular morning news show "Today."

Since then, ABC has also added a female anchor, Diane Sawyer, to its flagship evening news program.