On a rare day off from taping her eponymous daytime talk show, Katie Couric stopped by to repay Howard for having appeared on her show.
DRAMA AT THE TODAY SHOW
For being a generally upbeat morning talk show, The Today Show has seen its share of drama. Katie assumed the co-host position from Deborah Norville, who was publicly humiliated by plummeting ratings once she debuted as co-host. But Katie's excuse for Norville's failure should go far in softening the blow: She was just too pretty; women felt like they had to be dressed with make-up on to watch her.
Katie next claimed that, contrary to rumors, she doesn't hate her former co-host Bryant Gumbel, though she does admit that he was "prickly, challenging and set in his ways" while they worked together.
Moving on, the Ann Curry fiasco could have been avoided if the people in television, or any business, were more honest and direct with each other, according to Katie.
When asked why The Today Show was losing in the ratings and Good Morning America was winning, Katie had quite the direct answer: "GMA is more fun to watch."
Katie also revealed that once she left the CBS Evening News, some "cautious overtures" were made to her about returning to The Today Show, but they soon evaporated.
ASKING SARAH PALIN THE TOUGH QUESTIONS
Howard loved Katie's famous interview with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin while she anchored the evening news at CBS, but Katie still contends that the infamous question of "What newspapers and periodicals do you read?" was just a softball that came to her while they were shooting some B-roll to compliment the actual interview. The Vice Presidential candidate could have said she reads the Alaskan newspapers, the New York Times, or even US Weekly, but instead, Palin said she reads "all of them."
Does Katie feel responsible for Barack Obama winning the election? She doesn't, but she does think the Palin interview gave people pause, and made some question Republican candidate John McCain's judgment in selecting Palin as his running mate.
LEAVING CBS EVENING NEWS
Katie Couric reportedly received a $15 million salary for hosting the CBS Evening News, making her the highest paid journalist in the world. The common perception, though, is that ratings for the show with her at the helm tanked, to which Katie clarified: When she took the seat, there was a big bump in the ratings because people were curious, then the rating settled back to where they were before she took over.
DATING AMERICA'S SWEETHEART
Katie has been asked out by some very famous men, When she was thirty, she went on one date with Larry King, who was very forward. When Katie asked where they were going, he simply replied "My place." Katie froze, not knowing what to do. Then she let him down by just admitting she was looking for someone a little closer to her own age.
Michael Jackson once used his good friend and adviser Rabbi Shmuley to ask Katie out. The scholar called her up, saying Michael mentioned that Katie is the type of girl he'd like to go out with. She declined the invite, but ended up regretting not having dinner with the pop star, if only for the story.
Neither one called Katie back, but she didn't feel any magic either.