Katie Couric’s old colleagues are appalled by her rude, toxic memoir

Katie Couric attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Celebrating the 92nd Annual Academy Awards hos...

Was Katie Couric stupid all this time? Or was she clever in a maniacal, Mean Girl way, and now she’s just out-of-touch? I can’t decide, but I truly do not believe that Couric predicted that the early excerpts from her memoir, Going There, would land the way they have. Instead of coming across as dishy, fun gossip, the excerpts from Couric’s book have her coming across like a bully, a misogynist and an apologist for rapists. While I know the NY Post has their own (Rupert Murdoch-y) agenda, they’re doing a lot of reporting from media insiders who are completely shocked by how Couric completely miscalculated:

Why did Couric do this? “Nobody can understand why Katie did this,” a senior news producer who has worked with Couric, told The Post. “She’s ruining her legacy.”

The Deborah Norville stuff: She cruelly trashes fellow “Today” host Deborah Norville for having a “relentless perfectionism” that turned off morning viewers. Norville told The Post: “I’m really too stunned and, frankly, hurt to comment.”

Couric hates women & never supported women: According to a TV industry insider, the Banfield snubbing “certainly wasn’t an isolated incident. [Couric] definitely contributed to the toxicity [at NBC]. Katie was part of a culture that wasn’t supportive of women, and she contributed to it.”

Her former media peers will not forgive her: “From the excerpts I’ve seen, she’s taking down women from Martha Stewart to Diane Sawyer and Deborah Norville. She’s … so rough on other women for being ambitious like she was, it’s unforgivable,” said the senior news producer. “She gives fresh meaning to that old saying: ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’”

A rude awakening: A former TV colleague of Couric’s told The Post: “I think she genuinely wants to settle scores, but she didn’t realize how bad this would be and how badly she would come across.”

Couric was an a–hole on the job too: A TV industry insider said: “Katie is a lot of fun — funny, charismatic, cool … But she can also be a pretty frightening person. When you think of a mean girl, it’s her. She was not a girl’s girl, by any means. It seems she’s revealing that side of herself in the book, whether she intended to or not.” Over at NBC, where Couric hosted “Today” alongside Lauer for 15 years, a producer recalled that all this is “par for the course with her.” Indeed, there was a “sense of relief” when Couric left in 2006, as she was “self-absorbed and snippy toward the end…. You would never see Meredith (Vieira) do anything like this. [Couric] just wants to be relevant. She doesn’t have a platform, so this [book] is a cry for relevance.”

LOL this is her legacy now: One former colleague said: “A lot of people said they can’t believe nobody in her orbit told her this book is a bad idea, because this is her legacy.”

Couric is trying to do some damage control: “She has been calling friends telling them she’s a good person and telling them that her publisher told her to add all the gossip in order to sell more books,” the former TV colleague said. “But she has more money than any of us could ever need. This isn’t about selling books.”

[From The NY Post]

Again, is this Couric being stupid or did she just misread the room because she’s so rich and out-of-touch? I can’t decide. I’m glad it’s happening though and it’s pretty glorious to see a Karen taken down by her words, hoisted by her own petard. Incidentally, it did occur to me that the publisher might be leaking the most WTF-passages as a way to cultivate interest in the book. Sure, that’s definitely part of it. But mostly I think her publisher and editors are like “holy sh-t, Couric is a complete a–hole and there’s no way to hide it so let’s just put a bow on it and move on.”

Also: there are apparently some lengthy passages in Couric’s memoir where she goes on and on about a nanny who tried to ruin her life and her marriage, but I’ll spare you – if you want to read that mess, you can see it here. It’s basically a story about how Couric is a terrible boss who failed to maintain healthy boundaries with an employee who was clearly struggling with mental health issues. Couric also decided to talk sh-t about her dead first husband too. Whew, girl.

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76 Responses to “Katie Couric’s old colleagues are appalled by her rude, toxic memoir”

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  1. Nyro says:

    Katie sounds like she was definitely the Regina George of the women in the news media. I guess that whole annoying chipper former cheerleader vibe of her was phony.

    • Ann says:

      Never met an annoying chipper former cheerleader vibe type person who wasn’t a big phony.

      • Deering24 says:

        Amen to that. 🤮

      • Snappyfish says:

        My aunt graduated UVA in ‘81 (Katie in ‘79) they were sorority sisters in Tri Delt. My aunt used to loath the Today Show when Couric was on. She always said she was a horrible person but fooled everyone with her “cutesy” demeanor. I think Couric thought this would be received as fun & dishy when she is coming across as the person my aunt always said she was.

  2. Merricat says:

    It is stunning that this is what she wanted people to remember about her.

    • STRIPE says:

      I truly think she’s just totally out of touch the way only a famous person can be.

      I remember reading Lance Armstrong’s autobiography and thinking he sounded like a total jerk…what must he be like if that is what he put out there about himself?? Then everything blew up for him a few years later and we all learned what a monster he is. I think the same is happening here. She’s just so out of touch she didn’t realize how awful she sounded.

      • AnnaC says:

        I had several dealings with Lance Armstrong a decade ago when I lived in Austin as he frequently came to functions the nonprofit I worked for held. Yes, he was an arrogant, entitled jerk. One of the guys in our board grew up with him and said he was always like that; he was a really good athlete, only child and raised to think his you know what didn’t stink.

        However, he was amazing with kids with cancer. Engaged, fun, positive, upbeat, like a switch flipped. And the Livestrong foundation did some amazing work; their Austin HQ ran all sorts of programs and offered a wealth of services on site.

    • minx says:

      Yes, and it’s correct that this will be her legacy. What a mess.

  3. Lizzie Bathory says:

    “She has been calling friends telling them she’s a good person.” Hahahahaha. I cannot. Some folks can’t help telling on themselves.

    I really think Katie imagined this would be some sort of dishy, girlboss moment. And instead everyone is rightfully horrified to see who she is.

    • Eating Popcorn says:

      Exactly – It’s not dishy it’s evil – look how much I hated all the other women in news… Just an awful person!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        There is zero excuse for her to be evil and to be proud of her accomplishments in protecting that sleaze Matt. As for her proudly declaring that she purposely pushed down and ruined the careers of many women is also inexcusable. She wasn’t putting these bits of horrific behaviour into the book to sell more, she did it for her own validation of her actions. She can call as many friends as she wants, but she put it out there for everyone to read it. She gets zero excuses from me, as she chose to make those decisions to purposely hurt other women. That’s all on her.

  4. LillyfromLillooet says:

    Again with her feet–unless there is going to be some relevant reason disclosed in the memoir that Couric is appearing shoeless, this strikes me as a particularly unappetizing example of how differently male and female news anchors are presented to the public. Lester Holt gripping his bare feet on a book cover? I don’t think so. I hated that weird ass filter they had on her as a prime time news anchor.

    I totally believe Couric punched up controversy and the yick factor on the advice of editors to sell books. It’s immaterial that she has more money than she could ever possibly need. She’s competitive, she has a book deal and she and her editors want it to sell. If her whole career has been about going for the win as opposed to the nice. Even the title “Going There” suggests a story told without a nice filter.

    And that is a good thing! Ashley Banfield and Deborah Norville deserve attention and the opportunity to talk about how their careers have been decimated. A nicey-nicey memoir wouldn’t have given these people their moment.

    Couric will be fine–she’s got her scene and friends in the Hamptons, her career is mostly played out. Yeah, her legacy now is a dark tale, but that feels as it should be, yes?

    • remarks says:

      The fact that she’s touching her feet makes the pose a little weirder to me personally. Maybe other people’s opinions may differ. But that’s my 2 cents.

      • Christine says:

        As a person who is revolted by any and all feet (I made an exception when my son was a baby, baby feet are cute), I can’t look at her book cover at all. Being on a plane with one of those people who takes off their shoes and socks is my idea of hell.

        *hork*

  5. Chaine says:

    That cover photo is something else. She looks deranged.

  6. Jais says:

    Appalled but maybe not surprised?

  7. Talia says:

    I think it’s similar to the Prince Andrew interview – someone who lives in an echo chamber of praise has no idea how they are going to come across to normal people.

    • Ann says:

      Excellent point.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Following an incident in the Falklands, Katie is physically incapable of wearing shoes for a photo shoot. Everyone in the Hamptons knows this.

    • Mac says:

      I think she is writing about how the media and entertainment industries work. Les Moonves, Roger Alies, Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, etc. have only been exposed in the past few years. It’s still a dog-eat-dog world for women and the ruthless get ahead.

      • Emma says:

        I don’t think it’s necessary to make excuses for her based on Harvey Weinstein who wasn’t even in her industry. Or Roger Ailes, who never was her boss or in her company.

        I think Karen Couric is in her own class of awful. You can be ambitious and successful without being cruel, and the idea that a woman could only be successful if she was terrible is pure patriarchy. It’s a lie. A sexist lie.

        You don’t see her peers like Meredith or Deborah (both mentioned in the article) doing or saying this. Presumably they were in similar environments. But they didn’t want to be evil. Karen Couric decided to be awful while presenting a fake facade. I totally understand the environment was harsh but not everyone responds to that with “I must be the only one!”

      • Mac says:

        @Emma You should meet some people who do, or used to, work in media and entertainment. It’s nice to pretend it isn’t full of toxic masculinity and that woman don’t face enormous age discrimination, but then there is the reality.

      • Deering24 says:

        Mac—so, the only way to deal with toxic masculinity is to be as bad or worse than the guys?!! Bullshit. What will ever change if everyone opts for that? Couric sold her soul, and “oh, I had to be terrible to make it” is just an excuse for her failure to be a human being.

    • MissMarirose says:

      I was thinking the same thing, only how Ellen Pompeo didn’t think her Denzel Washington story would make her look like a jerk.

  8. Meghan says:

    This sounds like a hot mess. But I think, maybe, if the publisher did say to add the gossip to sell more books then it might not have been about the money for Katie, but to say I sold 10M copies instead of I sold 1M copies, you know?

    Or she is Scrooge McDuck-ing it and swimming in her coins, idk. The big part of me is not at all surprised she is an a-hole but a small part of me is sad? Disappointed? I never watched the Today show so I only really saw her on the Evening News and through other media stories.

  9. Scorpion says:

    She just confirmed what we all knew she was 😂😂
    Saves us from buying her book

  10. wheneight says:

    Did anyone listen to her podcast? I guess I kind of got a preview of this when I started listening to it (I think it came out a few years ago, not sure if it’s still around). It was basically just interviews with famous people and I wanted to like it but had to stop because she seemed sooo out of touch. I wish I could remember the specifics but she just sounded like some selfish rich person who’s lived in their own rich person bubble for the past 3 decades.

  11. deezee says:

    I saw a Broadway show and she was in attendance with her two daughters (who were very young at the time). The two girls misbehaved badly. They were crawling under seats and annoying other people plus the cast. They were completely unruly. Katie just sat there watching the performance ignoring her kids. The nanny tried shushing them but Katie kept telling her to be quiet.
    At intermission, someone from the theatre came and spoke with her about it. She was clearly annoyed, grabbed the younger daughter, looked at the nanny telling her to stay. One word, like a dog, and left. The older daughter called out a bit for her mom. She didn’t look back but kept walking while the nanny tried to comfort the older daughter. Katie didn’t return. The older daughter behaved just fine for the nanny in the second act.
    I have disliked Katie Couric ever since.

    • Willow says:

      Those poor kids.

    • minx says:

      Her arrogance is staggering. I would be mortified if I was approached that way about my kids’ behavior (I wouldn’t have brought them in the first place). And telling the nanny to “stay” loud enough for others to hear! These kinds of anecdotes are interesting because they show celebrities for who they really are.

    • Deering24 says:

      😳😳😥 Man, I wonder how her kids turned out.

  12. Jezz says:

    The hand holding up the face pose seems to be the only option available to women who write autobiographies. Why is that?

    • Jan90067 says:

      It helps pull/hide the skin up around the jaw area, makes it look “firmer”. You’ll notice younger women don’t do this. It’s always women “of a certain age” that have this pose.

  13. Concern Fae says:

    Reminded of the old Chappelle skit When Keepin’ It Real Goes Wrong.

  14. Becks1 says:

    So there’s punching up the gossip to sell more books, and then there’s just showing the world what an awful person you’ve always been. This is more the latter and I don’t think it’s going to help sell books. I know that I have no interest in reading it at this point.

  15. Seraphina says:

    I really did not like KC to begin with but I think that may be subconscious because to get to the top, one most likely is a terrible person.
    That said, I have an issue with the “girl’s girl” comment. So if this were a man, would we be reacting the same way?
    I know, having been there myself, women tend to want to back stab other women to get ahead. Setting up boundaries and not being “chummy” may be a way to keep people at bay. Oprah recently stated she has only three close friends. I get it.
    IMHO, I think this is KC showing herself and being out of touch – when you have gone this long and haven’t been called out it skews how you read the room. Just like Prince Andrew.

    • Emma says:

      You can get to the top without being terrible. There are lots of examples but let’s say Oprah since you brought her up. Huge difference between Katie and Oprah. Oprah is pretty obviously a good and talented person who’s mentored others and supported women’s careers and she didn’t leave a trail of bodies in her wake. It’s not abnormal or damaging to have “only three” best friends. Boundaries aren’t what KC had. Big difference between the two women. Oprah built a lasting empire that’s explicitly feminist and pro-Black. She isn’t perfect but she’s amazing. And FAR richer, more powerful and influential, and more successful than Katie.

      I’m so sick of this excuse that Couric had to be awful to succeed. She did not. She chose to.

      • Seraphina says:

        I whole heartedly agree @Emma, but I think some people fall into that trap and think that way. And then there are some who get hurt by those like KC and become like them. I am not excusing the behavior. Please do not confuse with my analysis as excusing it.

      • Kristin says:

        Yeah, Oprah is nothing like Couric. My cousin Jill has been one of Oprah’s producers for over 20 years in Chicago and now she works for her out of L.A. Jill always tells me what an incredible boss Oprah is. How she would invite all of her producers and their families every year to her big estate up in New York for a family and friends “getaway”. She would always treat her staff incredibly well and very generously, and was very much a supportive mentor. She said it was impossible to get a job working with Oprah because staff turnover is so low because she’s just an awesome person to work for. Pretty much the EXACT opposite of women like Katie Couric and Ellen Degeneres.

  16. Veronica S. says:

    I’d bet you anything she’s a narcissist, to be honest. Those people tend to be very charming and manipulative up front despite their toxicity, but if you give them enough rope with which to hang themselves, they stick their neck right in. They just can’t help but be pleased with their own genius and will just bang on about it in the most revealing way. Trust me when I say she literally had no self awareness about any of that.

    I will tell you that all this negative response is probably sending her in a tail spin. On one hand, she’s getting all that lovely, lovely attention. On the other hand, most of it is critical. Drives them crazy lol.

  17. janey janey says:

    Can we talk about the phenomenon of toxicity derailing careers? Because for all of the business world speak about leaning in, work life balance, blaming workers, not blaming workers, leadership training, Brene Brown advice, I think the biggest piece of advice and skill is to teach people how powerful people can derail someone’s career in spite of their talent, hardwork and doing all of the right things. I think about this a lot. I’m doing well in spite of multiple attempts to throw my career in the gutter by these Couric types.

    • Emma says:

      Yes. My academic career got permanently derailed by a toxic mess at my first university. (One of my former colleagues went to jail for sexual abuse of students and the majority of our colleagues supported HIM.) Your choice of employer/colleagues/boss is crucial.

      • dj says:

        Same. This is a little triggering for me as well. I was about to graduate with my doctorate when my career was derailed by a woman like KC. Did not get to doctorate due to this so I probably feel a lot like Ashley Banfield. It sucks. We do everything we are required to do and still don’t achieve our dreams because of some other beastly woman. Mean women suck! LOL.

      • Shannon says:

        20+ years ago I used to work for a woman like Katie (minus the cheerleader charm). She was the only woman partner in our law firm branch, came up in the 70s when there were hardly any women lawyers. She was mean and competitive and demeaning to every young woman who worked for her, and could poison the well against someone better than anyone I’ve ever met. It was so subtle and manipulative and none of the men there knew what was happening, but we all did. She personally prevented at least 2 women from making partner, and was either *the* cause or a leading cause of every female associate there quitting within an 18 month period. She complained about our maternity leave, claiming that we were spoiled and lazy and that she had to leave her baby at 4 weeks because otherwise she’d be fired, and mocked or gaslighted anyone who dared complain of sexism or sexual harassment or disparate treatment. She’d manufacture situations where the associates would get mad at each other and watch with glee from the sidelines. Total malevolent narcissist. In a rare moment of clarity she once told me that she used to be special because she was the only woman in the room, but now she’s not. I felt briefly sorry for her, because when you don’t feel like you’ve earned your success you must worry all the time about it being taken from you.

  18. remarks says:

    Barbara Walters had some gossip (about her personal relationships, I think?) in her memoir. Maybe Couric wanted to match that. I don’t know if she dissed other people though. Maybe someone else can clarify.

  19. Diana says:

    All of this pr is working because I just pre-ordered the book! 🤣 I absolutely cannot wait to read it!!!

  20. Lowrider says:

    This is an honest book about Katie and she didn’t sugar coat her behaviour. But she’s a liar to blame the juicy details on the publisher. She’s worked in media for decades, she understands what she need to do to sell her book.

  21. Marigold says:

    I guess that I’m weird. But her touching her feet humanizes her. But her words are horrid.

  22. Izzy says:

    “ she genuinely wants to settle scores” What scores? She was the one screwing over colleagues, if anything they should be settling scores with her.

    • Betsy says:

      That’s what I was wondering, too. Maybe she really is a narcissist and anyone who was her competition “did her wrong” in her addled mind?

  23. TIFFANY says:

    I think she truly became bitter after CBS Evening News failed. The viewers were basically telling her, this ain’t it and we don’t want you. That had to be a shock for her. She stopped pretending to be pleasant.

  24. Catherine says:

    There have been rumors for years that Katie was toxic but she was so popular with the public no one called her out. All these years she has been rewarded for her behavior so in her mind she justified it all. Positioned herself as just a bystander. Completely without fault. This is the perspective that this book is written from. As a culture , there is more awareness if the harm toxic femininity can have and the role it plays in enabling the patriarchy, sexism and misogyny that harms women. If she had written a book like this in say 2000 or even 2010 she would have gotten away with it. But now she can’t.

    • remarks says:

      I think there’s more “analysis’ going on in the past. Social media users are blunt in their assessments. So, yeah, this book probably wouldn’t have generated controversy even 10 years ago.

      You can now get immediate feedback on your actions. Some of us learn from it — people like Couric, I’m not sure.

  25. Jane Wilson says:

    She reminds me of some of the people in my neighbourhood (rich, white and privileged) who will come out with anti-semitic bullshit as naturally as commenting on the weather. They truly believe that everybody thinks the same way they do…that these are simply facts that everyone who knows what’s what and who’s who understands that.
    Recently, I got talking to another dog walker and for some reason, how great it was that the cast of Schitt’s Creek did so well at an awards show. “We’ve got so much to be grateful for in Canada,” she said…and I replied, “but we have problems we have to face – like the terrible news of those Indigenous children who were discovered buried behind the residential school.”
    Her face turned red and she started shouting, “I don’t want to hear another word about those people. Always looking for a handout! All the tax dollars we’ve spent on the indians – give me a break!!”
    I was stunned. But maybe I’m one of those people who think everyone agrees on the awfulness and responsibility of the government and the church in the kidnapping and in many cases, sexual abuse, torture and murder of thousands of First Nations children.
    Sorry for the rant, but Couric reminds me of this – that secretly (or not so secretly) thinks like she does…thinks women are sneaky and you have to do everything in your power to push them aside to get ahead…and that there’s nothing wrong with Matt Lauer, probably because “he never assaulted or raped me.”

    • Minnieder says:

      Damn! Doesn’t your neighbor know that “those Indians” didn’t WANT her tax dollars? That they WANTED their children to stay at home? Taking children away from their parents was not a benefit to those families!!!

  26. Tisme says:

    I think she is loving the buzz about her because it makes her feel relevant and current. I don’t think she really cares that the buzz is that she is an a***ole?

  27. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Must halt the inclusion of the book cover. Completely sick of her bare foot lol. Crash and burn is a glorious consequence for a monster.

  28. mellie says:

    I guess I never really thought anything about her. She was ok on the Today show, a little perky, a little annoying, sure, but I didn’t think anything necessarily bad about her. So I’m in that group that didn’t care one way or another about Katie Couric. Now I wouldn’t throw a glass of water on her if she was on fire. You know, of course, 99% of these celebrities aren’t what they portray on television or in interviews….we’d like to think of them all as kind humans. And most probably are a-holes or have acted like a-holes one time or another, they are used to be waited on, catered to. But to see someone like this basically ruin careers and use that privilege in such a toxic way, she’s just so haughty, so snotty…well, I just want to punch her in the face!

  29. jk says:

    I’ll be different. I think it’s a little refreshing to see someone writing what they really think about people. On the other hand, she should never have gone after her husband who died of cancer. That was bad.

    • AnnaC says:

      I totally agree with this. And think she completely misread the room and the timing, in another time this book probably would have been seen as dishy and gossipy vs toxic.

      I do also find the shocked and hurt comments from some of the other news woman a bit ironic. They are all uber competitive and fighting to be number one; I don’t love Katie Couric but nothing she says is shocking. I have heard from several people Ashleigh Banfield is as competitive as anyone and was not by any means a cheerleader for women coming up behind her. And there was lots of chatter about Debra Norville around NBC News (2 friends were longtime staffers). Martha Stewart gives as good as she gets, no doubt at some point she’ll have a zinger.

  30. canichangemyname says:

    Sounds like she’s speaking her truth without giving any fks unfortunately, the experience of being a woman in a lot of careers. I’m more interested in who is so mad about this. It wouldn’t be on my radar at all if it weren’t for the constant anger about it. Now I’m interested. And still here watching women burn themselves. Believe women until we don’t believe women. Kc might be a POS, she may not, she may be somewhat in the middle continue to find this society’s treatment of women abhorrent. I’m interested to hear her story.

  31. MA says:

    I never understood her popularity and have never liked her so I’m just grabbing my popcorn and enjoying this ride.

    This thread isn’t as bad as the other one just full of apologia and blaming her behavior on the patriarchy. If that were the case then all successfully women would’ve acted the same way. Some people are just terrible.

  32. Mel says:

    Is this Couric being stupid or did she just misread the room because she’s so rich and out-of-touch? Yes, a woman so stupid, rich and in love with herself who has been getting away with being an awful person behind closed doors that she mistakenly thought that that folks would laugh off her trash behavior once she made it public. A mega Karen outting herself to the fullest!

  33. TEALIEF says:

    But at the length truth will out… and she outed herself. They always do… Anyone who goes around with a metaphoric sword in hand, with the guiding belief that there can be only one, taking heads. This person, the one who tarnished, poisoned, stymied, killed (or tried to) others careers, professional, and personal relationships is eventually bound to slash their own throats. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  34. nina says:

    Seems like her late husband was some kind of special ahole too.
    Just because he is dead does not erase him championing the “Old South.” She even threw him an “Old South” themed 40th birthday party.
    He had a passion for the Confederacy and regularly took part in reenactments of the Civil War even up to three months before his death.
    Apparently he was so incensed when the United Daughters of the Confederacy was denied a patent renewal for their confederate flag logo, he gave a 9 page speech to them attacking the decision denying their patent renewal.
    He attacked and vilified Sen Carol Mosely Brown after she spoke out against the logo and accused the press of obsessed with being politically correct regarding the issue.
    Very special couple who deserved each other it seems.

  35. bears says:

    Not going to lie – as a person who has never had even the slightest passing interest in Katie Couric, I now find myself wanting to read her burnbook.

  36. Bibi says:

    Hoisted by her own petard, indeed. It’s fascinating watching Katie and Ellen Pompeo basically out themselves as bullies and ungracious people while overestimating their own value. Couric really thought this made her look like a girl boss? Lol

  37. Mcmmom says:

    I’m not interested in reading this book, but I have appreciated reading the commentary on this site.

    I’m middle aged and a partner in my firm. I see a lot of women supporting women now and it’s definitely expected of me, which is good. But reading about the environment that Katie Couric grew up in and then facilitated through her own behavior reminds me of what it was like when I first started working and it makes me sad. Those early days were awful – it was cut throat and the other women were oftentimes worse than the men. The “cute” women were the worst – they wanted to use their attractiveness to get ahead and God forbid they saw you as a threat.

    I don’t miss those days and while I’m grateful that I don’t think it’s like that now where I work, I’m so sad that it was ever like that.

    Now off to find a young woman to mentor….