Katie Couric Signs Off From CBS Evening News

CBS Evening News anchor leaves her post two weeks before her contract expires

By Natalie Finn May 20, 2011 12:00 AMTags

It was the end of an era.

An era much shorter than the storied ones that came before it, sure, but it had to be a little emotional when Katie Couric signed off Thursday after almost five years of anchoring the CBS Evening News.

"To all of you watching, thank you so much for coming along with me on this incredible journey," she said, following a montage of her greatest hits, including sit-downs with Barack Obama, Valerie Plame, Alex Rodriguez and Clint Eastwood, trips to Africa and the Middle East, major breaking news coverage, the royal wedding and, most recently, Obama's announcement about the death of Osama Bin Laden.

"That's the CBS Evening News for tonight. I'm Katie Couric. Good night."

Alas, not enough people were along for the ride to lift CBS out of third place, where it's been since the days of Dan Rather and where it will probably stay for some time, Morgan Freeman intro or no. CBS' intention in hiring Couric, the first female solo anchor of a network newscast, was to add some extra zip to the proceedings to attract viewers, but, aside from her momentous debut (yikes, five years just went by fast), CBS remained behind ABC and NBC.

Couric hasn't revealed what her next gig will be, but she has expressed interest in a talk-show format and is said to be in negotiations with ABC.

She left two weeks before her contract was set to expire. 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley is scheduled to take over on June 6.